WIP – Work-In-Progress
Working on improvement but that's what life is, right? A work in progress.
Earlier this week, I had the most relaxing and positive start. God spoke Hebrews 12 over me and at that point, I thought I knew what He meant. Then a series of events turned the emotional needle the opposite direction. Now I ponder over Hebrews 12 and have a more profound perspective. Just when you think you know… What can I say? Life is a constant WIP. Yoga is a great reminder of that.
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” ~ Hebrews 12:7 NIV
We started this challenge with opening our hearts- through poses and meditation. To prepare our hearts for the Advent season, we wanted to first examine our hearts and see where we need His light to shine as we head into this time of preparing for the coming of our King.
As we near the end of the challenge, we bow in surrender to the great work He is faithful to complete in us.
The @naptimediaries advent devotional says, “God has already done it all, we simply have to engage in the freedom that has already been established for us.” What amazing freedom that is!! We don’t have to DO it. He only asks that we engage in what He is doing, surrender to the new life He is creating in us. “So friend, what is it in your life that God is doing? Take a minute to yourself and ask God what He is doing in your heart in this Advent season. What does He want to free you from?
It is not in our doing, it’s simply engaging in God. The God who brings joy, peace and hope to every situation that He is apart of.” ❤
Today is day 5 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional, using the day 5 devotional from Nap Time Diaries’ Advent Journal.
“He longs for us to expect Him to show up. And if we’re not living lives with baited breath and goosebumps in anticipation of what God wants to do in our lives, then I think we are missing out on His best life for us.”
Wow……….. WOW. This is a confronting one for me. Do I yearn for Him to show up in my life? In my meditation, I was stuck on this word – YEARN.
This is a strong word and indeed, I find myself yearning for Him to show up in my life….when life gets TOUGH. There seems to be a co-relationship between life’s struggles and yearning for Him. The tougher it gets the more I yearn. It made me think about when life good. Do I still yearn for Him. Most of us will pray when the going gets rough. How about on days when it’s all sunny and blue skies. On those good days, do we still yearn for our God to show up in our lives?
Oh how this quiet time is sooo good. It grounds me. It reminds me that while my life is good, I must not forget to love Jesus, love my Father above, to thank Him for His mercy, for His grace. To yearn for Him to show up in every minuscule moment of my life.
Do you pray in desperation? Let’s ask ourselves a tough question. If you’re praying in desperation, surely it means we believe that some things are beyond our human control. Then why not, thank Him, when things are good? Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship. Surely in our human relationships, we don’t just ask for stuff when we’re desperate. Surely we also nurture the relationship by speaking words of love, too…Food for thought.
Today is day 2 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga devotional. See me #crescentlunge forward on my plight on this beautiful #HolyYoga journey.
It is also day 1 of my Bible reading plan on “Addicted To Busy: Recovery For The Rushed Soul” and the title is “Impression Management”. How apt.
“For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the of pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.” ~1 John 2: 16 (NIV)
For my friends who know me well, I have declared November as my ‘Social Sabbatical’. Some of my friends raise their eyebrows in disbelief, some with concern (as if I’ve gone crazy!), some perplexed, some in mockery and a rare few who have supported and encouraged me with no judgement. It’s a funny exercise as I understand more about myself and of those truly understand me. It’s not a judgement of my friends but an assessment of a phenomenon. Either ways I am thankful to all my friends, laughing or empathising.
So, why this ‘Social Sabbatical’?
- Firstly, God knows I need rest and honour this temple [body] that God blesses me with. I talk about this a lot in my HoYo classes but frankly, I don’t practise it enough.
- Secondly, as any mum would know, life as a mother of two just gets more demanding with real responsibilities that is beyond just pleasing myself.
- Thirdly, the closer I have become to the Word, the more I have realised that I need to invest into living it out. And that includes carving time out for it. To read the Bible and spend time with the Lord. Simple as that.
- I wanted to experiment what it would be like to be able to have time to and for myself and if anything disastrous was going to happen if I didn’t fill up my calendar from 8am -8pm.
- Lastly, I wanted to ‘prepare my heart for Christmas’; to create mindspace to soak in, muse over and digest the importance of the birthday of our Saviour.
I am now almost two thirds into my Social Sabbatical. What have I learnt?
- Not all friends appreciate it, nor understand it. That’s ok..I had to push past people’s judgement and learnt to accept that I am here to please God, not man.
- For someone so extroverted as I am, it’s almost impossible to have a true “Social Sabbatical”. Realistically, just keeping my weekdays free is a good start! Don’t be too ambitious.
- I am a self-diagnosed sufferer of “Impression Management.” I’ve realised that I have a tendency and habit of making myself busy for the sake of making life appear productive, both to myself and to the world. If I have to be true to myself, it is Impression Management. Surely, if my schedule is packed from 8am – 8pm, I’m going to start to sound like Sheryl Sandberg, right? ….Right?? .. How I measure my self worth hasn’t really been rooted in Christ. I have been conforming with the worldly views of modern feminism. It is a confronting issue for me but I am facing it, even as I type now. I don’t know how I can resolve this issue immediately but I know that this Sabbatical is a good start.
- Indeed, no one dies and nothing disastrous happens when I don’t fill up my calendar with a ‘To-do’ in every single minute. In fact, the more I surrender and let God guide my daily tasks, the more effective I become with prioritisation of key tasks.
- The Word stays True to itself. Indeed, the more I invest into it, the more peace and joy I get. Nothing has been more rewarding than taking the time to meditate, slow down, and focus on Jesus. When you invest time in a relationship, the relationship flourishes. It’s funny how God has made us this way and we totally get it when it comes to human relationships yet it’s a hard concept to understand when it comes to a relationship with our King. Funny, huh?
So far, I can say that the re-investment of finding time to ‘breathe’ and ‘being still’ have been the most rewarding. I hear God. I feel the Holy Spirit. I enjoy my prayer time.
“Rather, it should be that of the inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” ~1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)
Today, I will start letting go of my addiction to ‘Impression Management‘. I need to stop being a slave to ‘busyness’. It’s ok if I’m a ‘free’ person. Indeed, I am free in Christ. Now THIS is truly preparing my heart for advent.
[Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.] ~ Wikipedia.com 16th November 2015
Today is Day 1 of the #PrepareOurHeartsForAdvent Holy Yoga challenge, hosted by a dear friend @mandajoy1979. When I first got tagged, I have to admit, I gave this little thought, thinking “Ok, another challenge? Didn’t we just finish one a couple of weeks ago? hmm..I’ll probably give this a miss. Don’t have time.”
Today, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, photos of those who are participating popped up. Each post has its own devotional by the Holy Yogi participating. One that stood out the most was from @valariskiness. She’s pregnant and she’s participating. Naturally, I went back to the pic that I was originally tagged in. This time, I read the post properly and the words sunk in. “PREPARE OUR HEARTS FOR ADVENT.”
Immediately I felt a sense of guilt. Guilt for not supporting my friend who was hosting. Guilt for saying, “I don’t have time for this.” I mean, if I don’t have time to prepare my heart for my Saviour, then where are my priorities?!
Most importantly, the Holy Spirit moved me. It reminded me that it’s not about the guilt. We are blameless through Him. It’s not the guilt that triggered that camera shot here. It is the Spirit moving my heart…preparing my heart for the celebration of our Saviour’s coming.
I tell you what, there is nothing more defining than to have spent this time of reflection and devotional today. I can’t wait to spend the next two weeks dedicating time for this devotional and reflection. THIS is what HOLY YOGA is about. It’s Jesus. And it’s REAL.
“Let every preacher take note: Amid the frustrations and hardships of ministry, the most Christ-like thing is to stay focused on your calling, give thanks to God, and go on preaching the Gospel.” ~ Joel Beeke
Nehemiah no doubt faced many long nights filled with the temptation to quit. Sometimes the calling God has placed on us seems far too costly. But the absolute best thing we can do is keep our eyes fixed on Jesus with grateful hearts. So let us join together today in praising His Name, wherever we each may be in this life of doing ministry for Jesus.
Thank you, Holy Yoga Ministries, for supporting us Holy Yoga Instructors every step of the way.
I awoke on Monday morning feeling a little raw and disheveled from the ‘disorganised’ class on Sunday. I found it hard to shake it off and trust that all was God’s plan. Of course I found it hard to trust; because I was ministering in dangerous territory. And I don’t mean Syria. This dangerous zone is situated somewhere called our ‘self pride’. That is where there is no place to be ministering the Word; when I allow my self-pride and glory to take over the reasons I minister (teach Christian yoga).
There’s often a misunderstanding that we, preachers, are seasoned in our sacrifices and that we are naturally gifted with ‘bearing the cross’. The truth is that most of us struggle with the temptations of the flesh and the world, too. We are all created equal.
Sometimes, when I get moments like this, it’s easy for me to forget why I do it and it’s hard for me to remember to do it for the reasons I do. But I am so thankful to lean back on God’s grace and it is a constant reminder. A forever ‘work in progress’ here on earth.
By His grace, yesterday’s class was not only filled with new students, it was full of the Holy Spirit. And that’s all I need….
Today, I open my ministries Facebook page to see this. Amen.. Amen…
“I always say to young fellows who consult me about the ministry, “Don’t be a minister if you can help it,” because if the man can help it, God never called him. But if he cannot help it, and he must preach or die, then he is the man.” [C.H. Spurgeon]. We cannot do ministry for our own selfish gain. If we did then we would have the ability to easily walk away when something else arose. When HE has done the calling, you will be ruined for anything other than His way.