Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

Best Life Coach ever…

-Reality, you are the only thing standing between me and a perfect life.

–field notes, 2023

-For I have the desire to do what is good, but I can not carry it out.

–Romans 7:18b

-Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.

–Psalm 25: 4-5

In June I was up in prayer, asking God for help with this blog…specifically, to guide me toward a practice of dependable, consistent publishing of (pardon the buzzword) “fresh content.” I’d made countless attempts at a routine, including a couple “best-selling author” schedules replete with sexy flowcharts and rubrics…all very impressive…with impressively dismal results. I kept falling back into the same pattern–several days of non-activity, then BAM! an explosion of creative output lasting for hours, during which I evaded human contact, essential chores, and, um, bathing.

This “all or nothing” strategy wasn’t sustainable. And the quality of work DEFINITELY wasn’t enhanced in this pressure cooker environment.

(Plus, those deodorants that tout “continuous odor control for up to 36 hours”…they lie.)

That morning I was sitting with Him, enumerating all the methods I’d already employed (not like He was unaware, but sometimes I have to “process while I’m talking,” even to God) and He smoothly cut in…

“How about…just thirty minutes a day? Just write. About anything. It doesn’t have to be the blog. Set a timer. When it dings, you’re done for the day. If you want to finish a couple thoughts, that’s gravy, but don’t overdo it.”

My response should’ve been an enthusiastic “Yeah, Lord! What a great idea!!”

Instead He got a resigned “Yeah, okay. I guess I haven’t tried that yet.”

Unfazed, He added an extra nugget of insight on top…

“So, Shelbo, is there anything else you need and love to do, but don’t, until a surge of inspiration…or desperation…hits you and propels you into an exhausting marathon session?”

*light bulb*

“Yes!” I cry. “Cleaning house!”

(Some of you are thinking ,”Cleaning house? You love…cleaning house?! My address is…”)

He slapped me on the back. “Now you’ve got your assignments and your training regimen. The skills and discipline from each will overlap. Go get ’em, tiger!”

I pushed off the block, and my “30-minute challenge” began!

Some days, it’s only writing…others, just cleaning…but frequently, shockingly, I achieve both. I’m creating new habits. I’m building muscle. Above all, I’m getting comfortable with an approach that’s less structured and formulaic…in a land between all and nothing. More aligned with, well, the aforementioned reality. I’m posting more, and my house has a new sparkle.

It doesn’t have to be thirty minutes. Maybe it’s ten…like my original “Breakfast with the Bible”…one verse and some reflection. A fitness goal might start with a walk around the yard; decluttering could be one box, shelf, or drawer at a time. There’s a freedom found in dropping the whole “go big or go home” hustle culture mindset…

And accepting direction from the Best Life Coach ever.

Not man’s race, but God’s pace.

The pace of grace.

The pace of peace.

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