Why Do We Allow Busyness to Dictate our Actions and Behaviors?

Why do we allow busyness to dictate our actions and behaviors_-1

Good Morning, Friends. I know that recently I’ve only been posting on Wednesday’s to study Jeremiah, but I decided to go off schedule and give a word of encouragement for your weekend. I have a reason.

Some days just don’t turn out the way we expect them. Without going into the entire story and crafting this into more words than it needs to be, yesterday was an unexpected day. Long story short: I had a doctor’s appointment, he decided I needed a cortisone shot, I had a reaction to the medicine, and about five minutes after receiving the injection I passed out cold. Ugh!

But let’s take a step back so I can tell you that the morning leading up to that moment wasn’t my greatest. My husband insisted on accompanying me to the appointment. In my small mind, I thought that was a really dumb idea. I should probably say that I didn’t want to see the doctor about a silly shoulder injury. I thought for sure I could power through and that there was probably nothing wrong at all. Not the case. I have a minor injury that needs some attention. However, my actions were not the kindest towards Paul because he was the one who insisted I take time out of my busy schedule to see a doctor. He wants me to feel better… the nerve!

Why do we allow busyness to dictate our actions and behaviors?

It’s not that I mind being busy. Lord knows I’ve brought most of what I do on myself voluntarily. But here’s what I’ve noticed: there is a test in the middle of the busy, every day happenings of life. I’ll be honest and tell you that yesterday morning I didn’t pass. Paul told me he wanted to come to my appointment to make sure I was alright. Instead of accepting his kindness, I complained I had to go in the first place and didn’t think he needed to waste time waiting in a physician’s office just because I had to be there.

Aren’t you glad God is atemporal? He isn’t limited by the confines of time. And with all my heart, I think He’s calling us to look up from our calendars so we don’t miss the moments He’s designed especially for us. We operate on a 24/7 schedule with full planners and little room for change. When we need to switch something around, guilt takes the driver’s seat. Listen, it’s okay to be busy and stick to schedules. However, it’s not okay to become so imprisoned by what we need to accomplish in a day that our mood shifts and we aren’t able to see what God wants us to achieve. If we aren’t careful, full schedules have a way of making us into control freaks leaving little room for God to work.

I ended up having to spend almost the entire day in bed yesterday, unscheduled. I wasn’t happy about any of it until I began seeing the fingerprints of God on my situation. I had an injury that needed diagnosed, I wasn’t alone because my husband was there when the medication triggered a reaction, and I needed some rest that I wouldn’t have otherwise given myself.

This weekend, take some deep breaths. Consider deviating from the schedule and filling some space with family and friends. Make memories and share stories. Do something that you want to do and be intentional about not allowing guilt to suffocate your choices. Plans are meant to change, and sometimes it’s because God has a divine appointment waiting.

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

-Mark 6:31

In the above scripture, Jesus and the disciples were busy ministering. Jesus decided they needed a place to rest, so they got in a boat planning to go to a deserted place. Guess what? The multitudes followed and Jesus was moved to compassion for them. The disciples at first wanted to send them away but Jesus had a feeding miracle in mind. The disciples had their own plans, but Jesus had a divine appointment waiting. Even before the existence of calendars humanity needed lessons on listening to the divine appointment Maker.

I never want to miss a divine appointment. What about you?

Love,

Jennifer

PS: Don’t forget to comment and/or subscribe on last Wednesday’s post for a chance to win Rebekah Lyons book You Are Free. You’ll love it.

The Kingdom Building Call (Part Two)

Kingdom Building Through the Life of Jeremiah

Kingdom Building through the Life of Jeremiah

(Week Two)

The winner of Lisa-Jo Baker’s book Never Unfriended  is Jenn Miller! Congratulations, Jenn! I will be contacting you via email for your address! I’m giving away another wonderful book today. Details are at the end of this post.

If you’re joining us today for the first time, welcome! For some tips on how to study with us, click here.

Week Two Study Overview: Today we will deal with the inner struggles and feelings associated with having no idea why God chose us, or why it seems He hasn’t chosen us for anything at all.

Key Point of Struggle:

I’m not sure I can accomplish the calling on my life and be successful. I’m not even sure I know what my calling is.

Key Proof of Comfort:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. – Jeremiah 1:5

Jeremiah has stolen my heart. I feel like I know him well. I’m not trying to compare my small struggles to his immeasurable pain; that would be ridiculous. However, in my mind, I can picture myself conversing to him about the call of God and the everyday crazy it makes me feel. I think he would be a good guy to connect with on the topic of purpose. If it were possible, I would lament to him over a steaming, hot cup of coffee in a corner booth at Panera Bread about all that seems to undo me regarding how God wants to use my life. And, it’s almost as if I can hear the weeping prophet saying, “Yeah, I get it. I totally get it.” I know you do, Jeremiah, I so know you do.

Jeremiah’s background:

  • He was called as a young man and his ministry lasted more than forty years.
  • He was from the town of Anathoth and born into the family of Hilkiah. It was a priestly family. We do not have any evidence to say Jeremiah himself was a priest, but I do think it’s safe to say he would have been trained in priestly ways.
  • He was commanded by God not to take a wife and have children because of the imminent judgment on the next generation.
  • Because of his calling he had few friends and experienced great rejection and pain.
  • Jeremiah did not hold back his feelings, which is why he is known as the weeping prophet. He is quite a writer and very poetic in style. (He used his scribe and faithful assistant Baruch to pen his words.) He his honest about his struggles and even shows himself to be a bit pessimistic at times. (We see you, Jeremiah!)

In a nutshell, I believe kingdom building is about being obedient to whatever God calls us to do. Jeremiah was called to the bewildering task of prophesying to Judah about their impending doom due to their wicked ways. This was about the breaking down of a kingdom from impurity of heart. Seriously, the historical account of Jeremiah seems like anything but kingdom building. Jeremiah actually witnessed the collapse of Jerusalem and the temple. However, God has a plan and purpose in every task he assigns. It’s not up to us to measure the task in order to weigh the importance of it.  And, it’s absolutely not okay to analyze how it might benefit us. Being obedient to God’s calling means faith and trust with eyes wide open focused on Him. We must learn to look past ourselves in order to get a clearer view of His will. Last week, we talked about our purpose being nothing at all about us. It’s about how the Father chooses to use us. I’m not saying there isn’t blessing within it, however, our definitions of blessing and God’s can sometimes be very different.

  • Have you ever been in the midst of a difficult situation and thought no good could ever come from it, but after emerging out of the other side you become aware of God’s fingerprints? If yes, write about this in your journal. I believe it’s important to remind ourselves of God’s hand in past circumstances. If not, and you can’t see God’s goodness in that situation, write a prayer asking Him to reveal his presence over the pain.

Kingdom Building Through The Life of Jeremiah Week 2

Let’s dig into Jeremiah’s call:

In Jeremiah 1:4, Jeremiah tells us the word of the Lord came to him. What God actually says in verse 5, in my opinion, is the most significant piece of the puzzle regarding purpose and calling for every beating heart.  Let’s take a close look at it.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

-Jeremiah 1:5

Let’s break this verse down beginning with “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

Take a good, long look at the word before inside the above scripture. That word has the potential to change how you see the significance of your life.  We cannot possibly understand our role in kingdom building, or the importance of the breath inside our lungs, if we cannot understand that God breathed purpose into us for more than we can see or imagine. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, His plan for us is to carry the power of His Holy Spirit inside us and march on for the cause of Christ. When we pour out, He will pour back in. Before we were formed there was purpose for us. Friend, you’ve always had a name, and your name has been on the mind of the Creator before time began.

  • What does the word before, as it relates to Jeremiah 1:5, mean to you, specifically?

Whenever I sit down to write, I think about what I might say before I begin. I meditate on a specific piece of scripture or idea. After that, I put pen to paper. I can’t possibly compare my process of creating to anything God creates, but for me it’s amazing to have just a tiny glimpse of His process. He cares about what He creates, and therefore, He plans every piece with detailed intention.

How many times do we sit down and think about the process of our own creation in the womb? I’m betting the time we spend doing that is nonexistent. And, if we did, would we relate it to God or biology? Before God created us, He thought about us individually. Not one of us is an accident. God doesn’t create anything by accident. His purpose fuels our purpose. Our lives mean something. I don’t know who it is reading this that needs to hear these words, but I will tell you right now that God has a plan for you and no matter what anyone has ever told you, you were created  in love by love. God is love and He created you. Just like the prophet Jeremiah, you were on the mind of God before ever being placed in the womb.

Let’s move to the next part of the scripture.

“Before you were born I sanctified you…”

To be sanctified means to be set apart. As a child, were you ever selected to do something special? Maybe you were chosen to be on a sports team or had a role in a play. What about as an adult? Do you remember the way you felt when your spouse made it clear they wanted their forever to include you? Those moments in time are examples of situations that set us apart from others. When they happened they made us feel pretty good, right?  Can you imagine how life changing it would be if we could all just have the faith of a mustard seed in believing we were set apart by the Almighty before time began?  Before we ever breathed the outside air, every detail of purpose, calling, and kingdom building ability was carefully crafted in each of us. Saint Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

Let’s look at the last piece of the passage.

“I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Okay, friends, here’s the tricky part. Jeremiah’s calling was different from our own. We aren’t all meant to be prophets. The apostle Paul gives an overview of this:

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

-1 Corinthians 12:4-5

  • I would like you to think carefully about the following question: what are you called to do?

Remember, world changers aren’t defined only by those who are called to witness to dying nations. (Like our Jeremiah) Last week, we talked about living our callings in the typical day-to-day. From changing diapers to showing kindness to our neighbors we are living the Great Commission. We don’t often look at everyday activities as living a life of great purpose, but that’s exactly what it’s all about. What happens during the events of an average day changes lives and makes disciples.

  • In your journal, I would like you to make a list of the things you do on a daily basis that you haven’t necessarily looked at through the lens of ministry or disciple making before. It should consist of activities you are now recognizing as part of your purpose. Use the above scriptural phrase from Jeremiah 1:5 I’ve ordained you a __________ . (You fill in the blank.)
  • After that, make a list of the other gifts you have that you would like to use in a ministry capacity right now. Talents you enjoy such as music, writing, speaking, drawing, cooking, entertaining, teaching etc.…

Here is an example of my list taken from the ordinary everyday as well as ministry gifts I like to use in a more traditional sense:

I ordained you a wife and mother. I’ve given you the ability to drive, cook, clean, and do laundry. I’ve ordained you a friend, someone who loves to entertain others in your home. You are an encourager, writer, speaker, worship leader, and studier of My Word.

Now that I’ve identified those abilities in my own life, I can use them for good. Even the ones that aren’t so fun, like cleaning.  I can choose to recognize purpose in everything I do on an average day. Those seemingly insignificant choices are all part of the process of my life being used for more than what I can see. I’m taking care of people and showing the Jesus inside me. I’m choosing to see each task as a gift from God to touch other lives. Perspective is everything.

When we can put ourselves into the pages of the Bible and realize these lessons are not just about the person who actually lived and endured them, like Jeremiah, but also for us, we can better grasp who Jesus is to us and the purpose He’s given each life.

Next week, we are going to discuss Jeremiah’s response to God’s call. I would like to encourage you to go deeper this week in study. Here are my suggestions:

  • Read Psalm 139 and use it as the foundation of truth to journal God’s thoughts toward you.
  • Read John 1:1-3 Journal about the truth of knowing that Jesus was at the center of every creation, including your life.

Today, I’m giving away Rebekah Lyons book You Are Free. It’s a wonderful portrayal of kingdom building as it relates to her struggles with panic and anxiety. She tells the process of overcoming, which enables her life to be used in kingdom building. It spoke to my life, and I believe it will speak to yours. To enter, all you have to do is comment and subscribe. Already a subscriber? Just leave a comment regarding kingdom building. I will announce the winner next Wednesday!

Love,

Jennifer

PS: Show others your ordinary day-to-day kingdom building tasks through using the hashtag #KingdomBuilidingSisters on Social Media. You can connect with me on Instagram to see my posts.

Kingdom Building Through the Life of Jeremiah (And a Giveaway!)

Kingdom Building Through the Life of Jeremiah

Hello Friends. I hope you had a joyous Easter Sunday celebrating the resurrection of our Lord! For those of you who haven’t seen my video on social media, I want to tell you about something that will be happening here every Wednesday for the next six weeks.

Beginning next Wednesday, April 26th, we will be spending six weeks studying kingdom building through the life of Jeremiah.  I’ve had an internal struggle in my own life concerning what kingdom building looks like for me, and not only for me, but as a whole for sisters in Christ. I’m passionate about digging into the Word and letting God speak to us through lives He used to build His kingdom. We can learn so much from the life of Jeremiah. Every Wednesday for six weeks we will discuss Jeremiah’s ministry, his struggles, how he dealt with them, and what God was speaking to him throughout the process. He was known as the weeping prophet. He might feel like our best friend when we’re done. I already feel connected to his life.

As I’ve been struggling with the concept of kingdom building, I’ve been reading books from some wonderful authors who have written about their own journeys. I’ve enjoyed these books so much that I want to share them with you! That means that every Wednesday when the new blog post on Jeremiah comes out, I’m going to be giving away a book! For starters, on Wednesday, April 26th, I’m giving away Lisa-Jo Baker‘s new book Never Unfriended: The secret to finding and keeping lasting friendships. I believe EVERY WOMAN SHOULD READ THIS! I’m not kidding. That book ripped me at the seams and sewed me back up again whole. It’s a fantastic representation of what friendship looks like. Think about it this way: if we are going to be kingdom builders, we need a crash course in friendship because we all need each other. Lisa-Jo’s book is scripture laced and sealed with honest accounts of what every woman needs to hear regarding friendship.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog and comment in the comment section underneath the blog post. I would love to know your feelings on kingdom building and what you’re learning from the life of Jeremiah as we study. Subscribing means you’ll never miss a blog post, and you’ll be eligible for the giveaways.  (You can unsubscribe anytime. I’m not the boss of you.) If you’re already a subscriber, you can win too! I’m selecting one of my existing subscribers from my email list every week to also win a book! All you have to do is click from your email to Jenniferkostick.com and comment underneath the blog post.

I’ve created a hashtag for this series, because I think kingdom building is going to be a thing around here for a while! the hashtag is #KingdomBuildingSisters, just in case you ever want to share.

To see the video introduction about this series, click to my Facebook page.

I’m looking forward to studying Jeremiah with you!

Love,

Jennifer

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