Friday, Apr 3, 2020

Blessed Are the Flexible: 5 Tips to Keep it Together When Life Happens

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Jeannette Tyson
Jeannette Tyson
I'm Jeannette! Saved by grace at 19 and doing my best to live for the Lord after years of trying things my way. One beautiful daughter, divorced and living just south of Chicago.

How Can We Be Flexible in the World Today?

There are certain things in life that we may always struggle with. Keeping up with the kids, getting everything done on the to-do list, the “daily grind” that seems to take years. Some days, I’m so on point. I feel energetic and ready for anything. I get everything done at home and at work and all is well. Then, I have days where everything is thrown off and hardly anything gets done or done right. I wake up late, my daughter is cranky, I hit every, single red light and then the expressway is a slow crawl.

Those days you just can’t catch a break.

Hey, life happens, right? You were created to win, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Life is a marathon – not a sprint (how many clichés can I fit in a sentence lol)!

When they say patience is a virtue, it’s not a game! When I have those days, feeling like everything is going haywire, I can be so dramatic. And, if I’m not careful, I can spiral down into a pity party real fast. God is showing me that I need more balance. I can plan and organize, but I’m not a robot – I need to be more flexible.

Are You Easily Bent Out of Shape?

difficult peopleI believe the Lord wants us to be able to maintain our joy no matter what is going on. Even those days when you can’t find your keys, your shirt is wrinkled, and your phone is vibrating like crazy with work emails.

My pastor preached on something similar this week. He said sometimes we ask God to change something, but He actually wants to change us.

See, we become so rigid that any time something unexpected pops up, we fall apart.

Me? I hate surprises! When you’re a single mom with long days, you map everything out – it’s a science. In my past, I wasted a lot of time because I wasn’t organized, so lately I have been in overdrive trying to plan every detail.

God is helping me to find balance and to be able to go with the flow. We cannot plan everything, and we have to be able to keep it moving and re-adjust when necessary.

The Enemy Can Sense Your Inflexibility

anxious

The Lord wanted me to know that when we’re not flexible, we also become more susceptible to temptation and sin.

Have you ever been running late, but expected everyone else to be on their game?

If I leave too late to make my own coffee at home, I’m going to need everyone at Dunkin Donuts to have their game faces on – this is not a drill, people! I need everyone on the road to have their eyes front and move expeditiously. So, I’m disgusted, fussing at everyone, and hoping my manager is in a good mood when I show up 10 minutes late. This is not Kingdom, Team!

When we’re unwilling to be flexible, temptation grows out of our need for temporary fixes and self-medication. When we’re having an “off” day, we’re tempted to indulge – chocolate, ice cream, Netflix binge – many times leading to procrastination, zero productivity, even sin.

A Flexible Life Brings Joy

Learning to be flexible is imperative for sustaining joy. I am learning that I can’t control everything, and lack of control is not a bad thing.

We can rest assured that God has us where He wants us and that everything is working for our good. Let’s not wear ourselves out trying to be so perfect and just learn how to flow.

I’m reminded of the Martha and Mary story in the Bible, where Martha is stressed about serving while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). Martha wasn’t doing anything wrong, but she was so focused on being a good host and being prepared that she didn’t recognize the opportunity that was in front of her – to sit before the One who had fed the 5,000+ with 5 loaves and a few small fish.

So, What’s The Play Call?

God has everything in His hands, Team (Psalm 95:4). Let’s relax and let the Good Shepherd take care of us. Here are a few tips the next time you’re feeling less than flexible:

  1. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. Everything will be fine, don’t let “off” days steal your joy. This world and its cares are temporary. God will take care of you!
  2. Don’t be rash! Emotions can take over if you let them. Practice self-control and resist bad thoughts when they come to tempt you.
  3. Just because a day starts out rough, it doesn’t have to end that way. Forget day by day, take things moment by moment. We always have more moments to be grateful for than we think.
  4. Life happens – so learn how to be flexible. Planning is awesome, but allow yourself some wiggle room – you’ll need it. Ask yourself, “Will this really matter 30 days, 6 months, 1 year from now?”
  5. Be patient, be OK. You can only do what you can do. Be gentle with yourself. Be alright with that. Stay open to growth for next time.

Be blessed!

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