Day 24 ~ Discipline…

Discipline. 

Such a warm, comfy word you just want to pull up and climb into like a fluffy snuggy in front of a roaring fire, right? (Can sarcasm be a spiritual gift?) You know how some people choose their “word” at the beginning of a new year that is meant to sort of guide their thoughts and actions through the year? They’re usually words like, “joy”, “hope”, “balance”, and “contentment”. You know what word I’ve never heard as a “word for the new year?”

Discipline!

And lest I sound critical of those well-meaning word finders, I am fully aware that the most common way I tend to think of discipline is when it’s a spiritual discipline and offered in its most gentle form, such as, “I sat down in my oversized, comfy chair with my steaming mug of freshly brewed coffee and opened the Bible as my spiritual discipline.”

 

But this is what I’ve been hearing about discipline from God the past few days ….and it’s not the warm, fluffy kind, but rather the kind that leaves me feeling a little rebuked and corrected – the kind where I am choosing to do the right thing, trusting my feelings will catch up, but most importantly….the kind where God reminds me that he has big plans for me and he needs me to stay on track or I won’t live into it. It’s the kind of discipline that reminds me following Jesus isn’t just something I “say” I do, but something that I actually choose to do, even when it means developing a life of discipline, and not just the comfy chair variety, either.

Matthew, one of the disciples wrote down these words of Jesus:

“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. 29 Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. 30 My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30 (CEB)

Doesn’t seem to make sense at first, does it? The “come to me and find rest” part feels great….but then it’s quickly followed by putting on a yoke and being trained as the way to find that rest. So why would Jesus say that?

The past couple of weeks haven’t quite been playing out according to anyone’s plan, have they? Everything has been turned upside down and I’d love to say I’ve quickly adjusted and bounced into a new routine that I feel good about, but the truth is, I’ve been sort of floundering….not in my faith, but in figuring out how to make the shift from the well-ordered and organized life of three weeks ago into one that’s felt more like a holding area until things return back to the way they were. But it’s looking like that may be awhile….so the ways I’ve been coping to the changes, like trying my hand at bread making, trading a finished puzzle for a new one, catching up on all the Netflix shows I’ve nearly forgotten since being in grad school and scrolling through facebook to see all the other creative ways of coping happening elsewhere stopped serving me so well around day 5 of shelter in place! And the reality of still-due homework assignments and the need for stretchy pants due to all the bread-making finally set in and I realized I’d better take a hard turn somewhere or I’d really start to be in some trouble!

So, I started listening to the gentle but persistent voice of God telling me it’s time to realign myself with the present reality and yes, to discipline myself in the process. But the kind of discipline Jesus was talking about in Matthew – the yoke he asks us to put on isn’t one of punishment….it’s a way to teach us to be like him and in doing so, to find that rest that we so need, and not just the sleep-in kind of rest, but also rest from the chaos, from the news, from the upending and the uncertainty. And he offers not only to show us how, but to live it with us….side by side as we learn from him and find rest for our souls.

I don’t know if this will resonate with anyone else on Day 24, but I feel like I must not be the only one who has struggled with finding a healthy routine during this weird time of unrest and upheaval. And it’s with you in mind that I’m sharing so candidly, if for no other reason than to assure you that you aren’t alone! And after spending a few days getting my heart (and the rest of me!) realigned and take my place back in step with Jesus, there is such comfort in the discipline that he offers us….and it does indeed bring rest.

Praying for you, friends as we trust him together!

Shellie 

 

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Build My Life

Patt Barrett / Housefires

Worthy of every song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Jesus, the Name above every other name
Jesus, the only One who could ever save
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Oh, we live for You
Holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me
Worthy
Worthy of every song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Oh, we live for You
Jesus
Jesus, the Name above every other name
Jesus, the only One who could ever save
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
Oh, we live for You
And holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those (around me)
Holy
Oh, holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me
Lead me in Your love
Lead me in Your love
And I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
You are holy
Holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me (You are holy, Lord)
And holy, there is no one like You
There is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder
And show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me
And I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will, I will not be shaken
All my life for You, Lord
All my days for You, Lord
You can have it all
You can have it all
You can have it all
And I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken (I will build my life upon)
I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken
I will not be shaken
I will not be shaken

Songwriters: Brett Younker / Karl Andrew Martin / Kirby Kaple / Matt Redman / Pat Barrett
Build My Life lyrics © Bethel Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group, Sentric Music

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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