I don't know what this is. Honestly, I struggle in being a perfectionist AND indecisive. Lord, help me. So providing that as some context, you could see why I wouldn't be lying to you when I confess that it takes me WEEKS to finish and PUBLISH a single blog post. It has to be perfect and I'm ever changing my mind on what "it" is. I have to have the perfect title and the right pictures, the bolded subtitles and thought provoking quotes. But this one, this one just sort of spilled out. And then I hit publish (within the same hour)!!
Tuesdays are my longest days. I work at the church my husband and I planted, then I come home for a few hours in the afternoon where I try to get a run in or at least a walk with the dog. That leaves a small breather before it's time to start thinking of, if not then actually making dinner. After scarfing down said dinner, I quickly attempt to make myself look presentable again because filiming our church's announcement video for Sunday is next on the agenda. That conveinently has me at the church already for what comes next, leading our team's worship practice.
Post worship practice, I get in my car and drive to a discipleship meeting with a woman from our church that I am currently discipling. This Tuesday's meeting was unreal. I mean, completely indescribable!
Here and now, I hope to encourage you to lean in. Because this past Tuesday God truly demonstrated to me in an unforgettable way the power of leaning in.
So friend, allow me to encourage you to lean in more to these three things:
1. Lean in with others
Life isn't just about you. I'm getting real, real fast. That friend that called you because she had a bad day, your spouse that is trying to share with you about their day at work, or the woman you are meeting to talk about faith or the Bible with, lean in. Lean into those conversations with intentionality and awareness. Don't be distracted, don't rush pass it. You weren't put on this earth for yourself, rather to love God and love others. And you can't claim to love someone you aren't willing to lean in for.
2. Lean in with God
Sweet friend, I wish I knew the exact words to tell you that would make you believe me when I say, LIFE WITHOUT GOD IS NOT HOW IT WAS INTEDED TO BE LIVED. You will find no greater satisfaction, fulfillment, love or sense of purspose without your Creator or without a [growing] relationship with Him. Are you feeling constantly hopeless, burned out, empty or unfufilled? Lean in with God. Lean in with Jesus. Lean in with the Holy Spirit. They are three in one. Lean in with God.
The Bible says this:
Isn't dinner with those you love just the best? You sit, you eat, you talk, you laugh, sometimes cry, with your elbows on the table while slightly leaning in to listen or to share the next story. This is God's invitation to you for a relationship with Him. He is knocking, let Him in. And lean in.
(Also, don't rush moments with Him. Leaning in isn't rushing. Leaning in requires your time.)
3. Lean in(to) your gifts
Gifts, skills, interests, talents... you name it, lean into them! During that discipleship meeting where God demonstrated the importance of all I'm sharing with you now, I leaned in. I leaned in and was intentional with my sweet friend I have the honor of discipling. We both leaned in to God's presence as He filled the room we were in discussing His word, worshipping, journaling and praying over one another. And in the midst of that, I leaned into my giftings.
Often I'm told I have the gift of exhortation, or encouragement. I have other talents and skills as well and I'm typing away to let you know, you do too! So lean into them, friend. Ask God about them, allow Him to tell you, then lean into ways you can use them.
As that night of discipleship continued, I had sensed that God wanted us to sit in that moment, lean in and hear from Him. As we did, He spoke encouragement through me to the woman I was with. I exhorted her as I prayed over her words God was giving me to pray.
Almost an hour of this went by and I told that woman as we wrapped up:
"You know, it's as if God is telling me, 'Crystal, you will feel most alive when you are in my presence and walking in your giftings.'"
"Mmmmm, yeeees", she replied.
If you're a believer, you have spiritual gifts God has given you.
Lean into them. Use them. Don't fear them.
God has also given us unique skills and talents. So, if you're a talented photographer, capture every moment. If you're a skillful writer, type away. If your passion is cooking or baking, do it and never stop! Lean in, grow your skills and ask yourself, "how can I bless others with this"?
I can't believe I wrote this and published it within an hour. But I'm believing these words needed out. So friend, if this encouraged you or challenged you, let me know in a comment below and share it with a friend and feel free to tag me.
Thanks for reading,