live life with a calm heart.
that phrase is written everywhere in my life lately and it's a pretty hard goal to achieve. rarely do i live with a calm heart. it's usually frantic, worried, stressed, frustrated, upset, sad, or annoyed. probably a myriad of other emotions or conditions as well. none of those being calm. i'm calm when things go my own way. back to expectations and how i have them and how they plague my life. luckily for me everyone else around me is learning about the war in life we all have against expectations so we have grown accostumed to talking about them and calling them out and shedding light on the reasons behind hurt feelings, being let down, missed connections and more. a symptom of expectaitons though, or a fruit of them is selfishness. maybe they are one in the same, i'm not sure. but as i've been trying to live life with a calm heart and i realize how infrequent my heart is calm i realize how selfish i am. yesterday i was pouting and literally laid on my bed and said I am being very selfish right now. no one was in the room but if they had been they would of certainly agreed with me. so, today i decided to not be selfish and to pray a lot more than i have in a long time and to fight really hard to live with a calm heart. and it worked. things that i normally would get upset about i took a breath and didn't. i didn't try to control situations, i didn't get mad at things that didn't need to be mad at or about, i didn't huff and puff, i wasn't worried because i had things to do, i just let life happen. i got frustrated really really bad at 4:55 before i left work trying to put rosie in her cage which she hates and fights and instead of scruffing her and shoving her in the cage i held her and tried to calm her down and told her i loved her and that she had to go to bed and it would be okay. she still resisted so instead of being mad then i found teresa and we got her in real easy. normally though i would of flipped out and probably hit rosie and called her bad names until she went in her cage.
a lot of my heart revelations and changes have come from the book the hiding place by corrie ten boom i read this month for my book report. it's like the anne frank diary but better. is that bad to say? it's so good and really has changed my life. here's some of my book report i wrote
My favorite quote in the whole book is when Betsie and Corrie are talking and Betsie tells Corrie she has to give thanks for the fleas in their room and Corrie says that is ridiculous and Betsie says “Give thanks in all circumstances. It doesn’t just say in pleasant circumstance. Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.” Corrie still says she thinks Betsie is wrong but gosh, it is so true. If I could have the faith to think of all things were good gifts from the Lord. I think this is most important to me because I don’t always do it. Sometimes I can acknowledge the bad things as good but most of the time I can’t. I don’t even know how to go about doing this. How do I thank the Lord for barking gods that poop on me or stubbing my toes or having my face be infected for the third time this month? Do I have to always see things in terms of the opposite like because I’ve been sick so much I’ve gotten to rest more than I normally would or because I stubbed my toe I got to practice the art of not saying cuss words and getting to sit down for a few minutes because I’m in pain. Like, how do I make my thanksgiving genuine? Have more faith that he really does have good things for me and not plans to harm me I guess
I learned a lot about people in this book. About humanity and about what people are capable of and what the Lord is capable of through people. Even the quote from Corrie that says “How rich is anyone who can simply see human faces!” What joy in a simple thing as seeing someone else. I don’t have to live in a prison or concentration camp to take joy in this gift. If I were able to thank God in all circumstances I could come home from work and be overwhelmingly grateful for this house I live in instead of holding past grudges or being tired and not taking delight in you all. (not that everyday coming home is a drag-mostly I am excited to come home but my heart could be in a better place sometimes in this house). At one point in the book Corrie acknowledged her own selfishness. She says “how easy it is to give it [selfishness] other names.” “Oh, this was the great poly of Satan in that kingdom of his; to display such blatant evil that one could almost believe one’s own secret sins didn’t matter.” Today I read Galatians 6:1-5 and this verse stuck out to me -- 4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. (msg version) I think Corrie is a good example of this verse- she focused on the work she had been given and sunk herself into it. I want to be more like that. I want to be less selfish and call out my selfishness for what it is. Corrie came to the realization she couldn’t do any of this on her own, she couldn’t not be selfish on her own she couldn’t help these people on her own it had to be from the Lord. It all goes back to having faith. If I don’t have faith I lean on myself and there is a lot of nasty junk in me that comes out – greed, selfishness, bitter roots that form. If I trust the Lord the good rich fruit will come out.
this was long. it was good for me to write, maybe good for you to read.
if i'm being selfish--tell me. call me out in a gentle and loving way (galatians 6:1 will tell you how) and let a sister know.