I'm working on a non-fiction project called Bohemian Forgiveness: Five Unconventional Paths to Forgiving What You'll Never Forget. There's not much to see on the Facebook page for now but it will come, and I'll be sure to keep you posted.
Subcribe by RSS
Welcome back to a new series inspired by a video of Matthew Kelly titled How does God speak to us?
The lay of the land in this series:
- review the video below today's text (scroll down)
- all comments made by Matthew Kelly are in quotations
- [how I see it] denotes personal take-away
- followed by an invitation to journal: What do you see about yourself/God/others that you didn't see before?
Recap of series to date:
Series 1: Video by Matthew Kelly: How does God speak to us?
Series 2:How God Speaks to Us Through Our Legitimate Needs
Series 3: How the Enemy Speaks to Us Through Our Illegitimate Wants
Picking up where we left off, Matthew Kelly goes on to say:
"Our needs call out to us. Most of us don't have the foggiest idea what our legitimate needs are. Our culture, our world, and our lives are almost completely focused on our illegitimate wants."
"We think that if we can find more of the things we want we will find happiness and peace . . . and so we chase. All the time ignoring our legitimate needs, which are in fact, the key to the balance and the happiness that we desire and that God desires for us."
"You never can get enough of what you don't really need."
[How I see it] If God speaks to me through my legitimate needs who's doing the talking through my illegitimate wants?
Before we examine "illegitimate wants," let's define illegitimate.
1. not authorized by the law; not in accordance with accepted standards or rules. (www.merriam-webster.com)
"Not in accordance with accepted standard" peaks my interest. If God speaks to you and me through four legitimate needs: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual, then it stands to reason that these needs must be met in accordance with God's standards. Int other words, they must be beneficial. (God is for me--not against me.)
The flip side is that I have a very real enemy against me who's up all hours of the night printing illegitimate wants in the basement. For every legitimate need there is a counterfeit want. It looks legit until I hold it up to the light and quickly discover it adds no value to me physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually.
What makes my illegitimate wants so desirable is that they either a) offer fleeting feelings of relief with no real effort on my part or b) distract me from the reality that procrastination is a form of avoidance when I lack the confidence to move forward. (A pacifier in the mouth of fear.)
My legitimate needs VS my illegitimate wants
physical needs for sustained energy, optimal heath, and strength
|sugar, caffeine, carbs (energy surge with a guaranteed crash)|
|emotional needs for connection through authentic friendships, acts of service, and exercise for serotonin release in the brain||
reach out to "filler-friends" to avoid real connections, rearranging the furniture gives me a fleeting sense of well-being, having a few drinks to take the edge off of loneliness with no desire to be drunk.
intellectual needs for personal growth and development. Read a book, ask for help, seek professional coaching, join a book club, take classes
Service to others as a means to avoid addressing areas where I need further healing.
Procrastination fuels feelings of guilt and shame.
|spiritual need for time alone with God. Set aside time to study, and also simply sit in stillness and in quiet.||Over-serving in church/outreach to avoid the quiet time required to see underneath intentional isolation or busyness.|
Matthew Kelly poses the question: "How do we discover what our legitimate needs are? Only by stepping into the classroom of silence and becoming reconnected with ourselves and reconnected with our God."
When I spend time alone with God, He reveals my legitimate needs and how they are best met in ways that edify. He also illuminates my illegitimate wants and offers me a way to avoid the chasing of what I do not need. "The classroom of silence" is not an easy gig at first. Connecting with God and self is an exercise in vulnerability bearing the fruit of intimacy, my deepest need.
The list I shared is my list. What would your list include? What do you see about God, yourself, and/or others that you didn't see before today? Before we wrap, I'll leave you with a great quote by Elizabeth Gilbert:
"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."
Published on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 3:22 PM CDT
I'm kicking off the new year with fresh resolve: Speak Up. Speak Out! (Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." This scripture got me thinking. . . Are we listening for how God speaks to us all day--everyday? --or are we straining to hear a friend across the table in a noisy restaurant?
Last week I shared a video by Matthew Kelly titled: How does God speak to us? I'd like to take the next 3-4 weeks to unpack his thoughts (in quotations) followed by (How I see it) from the vantage point of healing from abuse/exploitation/betrayal.
[Point Number One by Matthew Kelly]
"Every single day God speaks to you and He speaks to me in three very clear, distinct voices.
The first voice of God is the voice of legitimate need. We experience this legitimate need in four areas.
[How I see it]
- Physically, I have legitimate needs for food, rest, activity, and touch. We need all four to thrive. The voice of God is a tummy-growl when I'm hungry, a yawn when I'm sleepy, low-grade depression when I need to exercise, and loneliness when I've gone too long without a hug.
- Emotionally, I have legitimate needs for a sense of safety and acceptance (belonging). The voice of God is the cautionary churn in my stomach when I'm in a relationship with someone who does not have my best interest at heart. It's also a broad smile when I discover someone shares my twisted sense of humor!
- Intellectually, I have legitimate needs for intrinsic motivation. "Intrinsic motivation refers to performing an action or behavior in order to receive an external reward or outcome." [study.com] The voice of God is the tedious distance between where I am now and where I long to be. "Wake up, sleepy head. Time to heal." It's the light at the end of the tunnel that compels me to take action on behalf of my own well-being.
- Spiritually, I have legitimate needs for intimacy with God and self. (If I don't know God, and I don't know myself, my relationships suffer.) Personally, I hear the voice of God best in the stillness and quiet He offers through nature. ("Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime"--Martin Luther.) Through pink skies the voice of God says, "You will always be my little girl." In the vastness of clouds I see His beard, and hear the reminder that He holds my life in the palm of His hands. When birds chirp heaven sings to me. When flowers bloom I'm offered perfume. Through falling leaves I'm prompted to let go. In springtime, with a wink I'm encouraged begin again. With every sunrise and sunset I hear, "I am faithful and in control." Insomnia is an invitation to a season of watchful prayer for unity in the body of Christ and the offering of special intentions for family and friends. Through rejection He exposes egotistical agendas with the loving offer to purify my motives. The Bible is the voice of God, though it does not compel me to study harder (!), but rather, to allow every word to shape my thoughts and desires until they best reflect through loving and humble deeds who I am created to be in Christ. The voice of God reveals my strengths and my weaknesses. Through my strengths He affirms there is no reason to feel threatened/intimidated or attempt to emulate another person's natural gifting. Through my weaknesses He forges empathy and compassion for the frailties of others.
Indeed, God speaks to me all day--everyday!
How do YOU see the voice of God?
- Practice listening with your eyes.
- Journal what you hear.
- Have your notes on hand for the next series.
We are not alone,
I'll share the video at the end of each blog throughout this series. (Fast forward accordingly.)
Published on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 @ 5:24 PM CDT