Hello and welcome back to the River Blog, my friends! Sorry for the unexcused absence again, but the last of my trips is finished and I may actually be done traveling for a while! I was at the Cincinnati Steampunk Symposium this weekend with two of my siblings and both my nieces. Here’s a pic of us in all our awesomeness:
(I’m the one in the middle. I feel severely understated next to those two sibs of mine XD; )
You know, I’ve got a confession: I’ve been having a hard time thinking about what to write about in these journals lately. This website is still kind of new, and the truth is, I’m not used to coming up with weekly interesting blog posts. I know I like writing occasionally about writing tips/lessons I’ve learned, and I like to post encouraging stuff. But sometimes, I just don’t really know what to write about specifically. It can be frustrating, because of course I want to write stuff that will be helpful AND interesting to people! That’s the whole point of having a blog like this, isn’t it? DOING something that will make an impact?
Well, I know I’m not always going to get it right. But I want to keep moving forward. So, I did the only logical recourse: I prayed about it.
I didn’t receive a lightning-bolt-to-the-head piece of inspiration. In fact, my brain is feeling rather foggy tonight. But I did get a reminded of something that really helped me recently. And, in an odd way, I think it links back to the worries I have about this blog. It’s about how we grow spiritually:
“Spiritual growth involves the Holy Spirit, our willingness to change, and time.”
Seems kind of understated just sitting there by itself, doesn’t it? But this is huge, and it’s SUPER helpful to me. What this is saying is that WHAT WE DO isn’t what changes us into better people. It is WHAT THE LORD IS DOING IN US.
So what does that mean, practically? Let’s try breaking this down by the three things listed:
The Holy Spirit:
- The HOLY SPIRIT needs to be present to initiate the change. We cannot be holy on our own. The nicest, most selfless people in the world still struggle with vices, sins, flaws, and wounds that can only be healed by the Holy Spirit.
- The HOLY SPIRIT can act apart from our own conscious efforts. He can work in us without our even noticing.
- The HOLY SPIRIT’s work does not depend on what WE do. Rather, what WE do is intended to be GUIDED BY the HOLY SPIRIT at work within us.
Willingness to Change:
- Even if we aren’t in the active process of changing, we need to BE WILLING to change.
- We need to BE WILLING to let the Holy Spirit rummage around in our junk, toss out the old crappy stuff we kind of liked, and expose the nasty spots we were trying to hide. This is the stuff holding us back, and this is the stuff we can’t get rid of on our own.
- We are human beings. We are going to screw up, even when we have the BEST intentions. We are not going to get “doing it God’s way” right most of the time. But this sentence tells us that if we are WILLING, then the Holy Spirit can work with that. It’s a matter of letting Him in in the first place and trusting Him to change us, instead of trying (and failing) to do it all on our own. And it’s learning not to resist those changes when He brings them to our attention.
- The more willing we are to change, the more we will find that we ARE changing. We may not notice it at first, we may only be able to see the hard parts we are walking through right now. But every lesson, every discipline, every healing by the Holy Spirit is aligning our spirits more with His, making us CAPABLE of DOING greater things that we couldn’t on our own.
- We’re not going to change overnight. We’re simply not capable of that. Even the Apostle Paul didn’t become a perfect Christian immediately after his conversion on the road to Damascus.
- This means we not only CAN, but we NEED to be PATIENT with ourselves. God doesn’t expect us to get it perfectly right every time, so why do we? He picks us back up by the hand, puts our feet back on the path, and says, “It’s okay. Try again. You can do it.” And when we fall over the same way as before? He just does it all over again.
- So long as we are WILLING to let the HOLY SPIRIT work in us, He will do that work even when we’re not paying attention. Even when we’re not perfect (which is most of the time). And IN TIME, He will reveal to us some of the wonderful ways He is making us new.
So what does that all have to do with writing this blog? This might be a stretch, but I kind of wonder if I shouldn’t take a similar attitude towards my blog as I’m trying to take towards my writing and my spiritual growth. I want GOD to reach people, and I hope and pray He’ll do that through the Gift of Writing He’s given me. So maybe I can also pray and trust that God will send the right message to the right person through my blog, and that He’ll give me the right words.
Obviously I should still try and put my best foot forward and not just slap words on a page. But if one of these blog posts really flops, well, it’s not the end of the world, right? Hopefully I’ll learn for next time. In the meantime, thank you guys for sticking with me! Hopefully I can eventually craft the River Blog into a place of steady, uplifting advice and encouragement! I’ll try not to beat myself up too much when it falls short, and I hope that YOU won’t beat yourself up too much when you fall short on whatever project or growth YOU’RE dealing with. We’re all in this together, and He is making us new day by day!
And in the meantime, maybe I can make a few of you giggle with silly gifs. That’s a good consolation prize if I ever saw one. 😉
I hope you all have a great week! Remember with me that if we trust the HOly Spirit to work through us, He will! And it’ll be really awesome to find out someday how exactly He did so when we weren’t even looking!
(P.S. If anyone has suggestions about things they’d like to hear about on this blog, PLEASE let me know! I can always use the ideas!)
SOMETHING SILLY FOR THE ROAD: