Enjoy the Process — That’s the Answer

by Texas Stready

Sunday I got up at 3 AM. Most of the time I make it till 5:30, but on occasion my 3 o’clock potty call begins a sleep-repelling process of over-analyzation that keeps me from returning to Neverland.

After church I kick back on my bed to shuffle through my mental notes of the morning service and I’m gone. Fast asleep.

“Surprise!” wakes me and I open my eyes—not sure where I am—or how my daughter got there. Had no clue she was coming to spend Memorial Day weekend with me.

“What’s going on?” I ask. “What are you doing? You’re not supposed to be here?” My questions take a subtle shift from uncertainty to rebellion, as I hunt for explanation.

Settle Down

Changes are often unexpected surprises that creep up on us, and peaceful compliance isn’t exactly a natural response to them. Feeling uncertain is jarring, as if taking off from a bumpy airstrip. But rebellion brings danger—like a bomb-carrying terrorist’s on your flight.

No one would purposefully climb aboard and aircraft knowing there’s inevitable danger sitting in front of them. So tell me, why do we get so frustrated when delays occur during the process of securing our plane? Doesn’t make much sense. Still, it happens. Often.

Process Has Purpose

Waiting requires patience. Everything’s not meant to happen now. Scripture informs us that life runs on a timetable (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). We don’t get the entire picture, so we must learn to rest with confidence in the perfect provision of our all-seeing God.

Having a hard time finding the strength to submit?

Try this. Consider what happens to a small child who rushes into oncoming traffic. A brutal picture, but a great way to establish appreciation for the necessary process of looking both ways before you cross the street.

Impatience Slows Things Down

Sure feels like water won’t boil when you’re watching, but if you step away from the stove for too long, before you know it, you’ll be missing an inch of water due to rapid boil.

What do these two scenarios tell us?

That staying aware of what’s happening is just as important as allowing it to happen. Faith is a gift that permits you to relax into the process long enough for the miracle to take place.

Don’t Miss Out

To publish my book I had to ask for donations (no fun), and then wait for responses (less fun). My largest contributions came from totally unexpected sources. This taught me that God’s way is both unexplainable and unsurpassed.

True peace originates in the heart, not the head.

The thing that brought me the most pleasure during this season was seeing God do His work, His way, in His time. It was a trust-builder that expanded my view of His love for me.

Celebrating what we know, instead of dreading what we don’t, distracts us long enough to get the bubbles rolling, shall we say. Why? Because we’re focused on God’s grace instead of our own ability.

Faith Propels You Forward

Walking in spiritual maturity insists we grow up in our willingness to trust. Our Savior has more for us than we could ever imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Receiving the gifts of God requires we submit to His process. This makes it necessary for us to enter the place of peace He’s established for us. The Holy Spirit’s an educated guide. Personal interaction with Him enables us to have unwavering peace in the most rowdy of circumstances.

Enjoy It All

A life of purpose is full of new construction, and every worksite requires adjustments. Process accomplishes two things:

1) Takes us through the steps of getting the job done.

2) Awards us unspeakable treasures that can’t be discovered by any other means.

The kingdom we inhabit doesn’t operate by the wave of a magic wand. So what does it take to get good at a life without fixed results? Learn to enjoy the process—that’s the answer.

I can’t promise the conclusions you want, but I can tell you this: Despising the process will rob you of the beautiful outcome you’re meant to enjoy.

What Makes Your Favorite Jeans So Great? 

 

by Texas Stready

 At Christmas a few years back I got a pair jeans that instantly became my favorite. I loved the way they fit, the color, the texture, the length—they were fab. Then tragedy struck. My second time wearing them I slipped in a puddle at the gas station and blew out the left knee. Trashed

Your favorite jeans. You know the ones. They’re soft in all the right places and get along well with just about anything in your wardrobe. The All American look. Boot cut, mid rise, skinny leg—we got ‘em all. The huge selection often leaves the most certain of shoppers scratching their heads.

In A Glance

What feels good in an instant rarely lasts. The reality of wrong moves often leaves our lives in the dumpster waiting to be hauled off and destroyed. Creepy place to find yourself. I know—been in that can more than once.

What takes us from treasured to trashed? A negative text that repeats in our skull. This sorta thinking does to our minds what a bad perm from the 80s did to our hair. It leaves our reasoning under-wrapped and over-processed. Fried.

No matter how loud we keep the distractions, Satan’s repetitive racket continually sings a song of hopeless rejection. It plays on and on, until we excuse the sound as if it’s reasonable background noise. Dangerous practice.

Put Your Foot Down

Often, we allow these lies to repeat in our minds until we think we have no choice. But this too is a lie. We always have a choice. Will we keep jamming to that old tune or will we change the station?

I know how uncomfortable change can be. I traveled the same stinkin’ path for so long that just looking at the offramp horrified me. Everyone told me how much better life could and would be if only… All good info but no one can wear my circumstances but me. I’m the one who makes the decisions for my life, and until I ask for help I can’t receive it anyway. Learned that one the hard way.

This not-so-fun fact is true of everyone. No matter what your struggle consists of, only you possess the power to say, “enough is enough” and change your look.

The Trip

The wear and tear of walking through life, that’s what makes our favorite jeans so great—isn’t it? Changing our perspective on the problematic areas of life happens one leg at a time, but with the help of our Creator it can be as easy as pulling on our favorite pair of jeans.

Consider this: why do we glorify the blemishes on our jeans, but criticize the scars on our lives?

  • The things we suffer shape us. We are individually and uniquely designed for a specific task. The perfect fit, shall we say. James 1:2-4 VOICE.
  • Our minds are the most powerful tools we possess. Change your mind, change your actions. It’s as simple as that. Proverbs 23:7a VOICE.

Forsaken or Favorite—You Choose

Love. That’s what enabled me to artfully adapt the jeans I’d ripped into a personalized fashion statement. Instead of trashing them at the first sign of weakness, I loved them so much I busted out the razor and made them wearable. With a few extra slashes, what was once seen as an accident I now sport on purpose.

God does this exact thing with the torn-up areas of our lives. Learning to go with the flow of the Spirit smooths out the rough edges of wrong choice and makes tolerable the stiff stitches of consequence. It breathes fresh excitement and unique enthusiasm into every one of our mistakes.

Favorite jeans are a must-have. Why? Cause life with nothing but new and unfamiliar duds is much too tight and stuffy.

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