"Now is the time to refuse outside voices and the persistent inner voice, time to keen in on His voice, to live ever more fully in the quiet joy and peace of belonging to Him" (Jean Fleming, Pursue the Intentional Life, 77).
It's hard to keep up with the world's expectations. Television, movies, and books tell what an ideal woman should look like. Those pressues can be intense. But honestly, it's not the world around me that causes that greatest amount of distress, it's the voices inside. The voices that tell me I'll never measure up, I'll never be good enough, that I must be doing something wrong with my children, that they'll grow up hating me. Those words are things no one in the outside world has every told me. No, I'm actually surrounded by some pretty amazing, encouraging people. It's the inner voices that get to me. The inner voices that attack me, right where they know it will hurt the most. The inner voices that come out when I'm at my weakest: when the baby is screaming, the toddler is melting down, the house is a disaster, there's no time to write. Those are the moments when the lies creep in. The inner voices that tell me I'll never measure up. I'm still in the midst of (in)courage's Bloom book study: Pursue the Intentional Life. I love the quote by Jane Fleming up above. I read it a week or so ago, and the words have been running through my heart every since.
Yes, it's definitely time for me to live even more completely in Him. To focus in on His voice, His words of wisdom, His words of grace. By worrying and doubting, I'm not doing that. I'm not listening to His voice in my life, instead, I'm listening to the voices of the Deceiver. This summer, I want to learn more about the quiet joy and peace found in Him. I want to live more fully and completely in the here and now, as a wife, as a writer, as a mommy.
As Fleming said in the Bloom video for Chapters 4-7, "God loves process, just keep going." That I love. I'm definitely a work in progress, but I am moving forward. With each day, each lesson, each trial, I'm desiring to only move closer to Jesus.
And so, I strive to hear God's voice in my life. To look around and see where He is evident, at work.
I see it in the flowers, when my family takes an evening walk. I see Him in my daughter, when her whole face lights up with a joyous smile. I hear His voice in my heart, reminding me that I am His. I am treasured. I am a work in progress, but I belong to Him.
"It gives me a great sense of security to know that God's smile comes to me because I am in Christ, not because I'm adorable. It is so hard to be adorable all the time" (Fleming, 83).
Rest in the truth that you belong to Jesus, friends. Look for His voice in your life today. Replace the lies the world, or your own head might be telling you, with His truths instead. You are loved.