Flowing in the Vine Life Diary – 5
Prepare your outside work,
Make it fit for yourself in the field;
And afterward, build your house. Proverbs 24 vs 27
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Proverbs 21 vs 5
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Proverbs 29 vs 18
(12 October 2018)
I have been thinking that I am in serious need of a planner. Although having one will not guarantee that I use it but I cannot use what I don’t have can I?
That has sort of been one of my procrastination techniques, I don’t have this so I can’t do this. Most productive people would make do with whatever they have at hand but as a former procrastinator (God has changed my name), I never made use of what was at hand. Sure there were times I would try but it never lasted for long. An example of this is that I bought a notebook about a month ago intending to use it as a planner as I wait for the bullet journal I ordered online to arrive and guess what, it has never been used. I have not as yet planned anything in it. Why in the world do I think that having a dotted journal is going to suddenly make me a planner overnight?
I have heard and read about how using the money on something will give it more value, like if I have to pay for a service I would appreciate it more than if I was just getting it for free. I think that is probably true for some people but the rule does not seem to work with me. I have tonnes of things that I bought to try to get myself invested in certain things but those supplies are right now just sitting on my table not being used. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not because I don’t care for what I want to use the supplies for, it’s just that there seems to be this Instant Gratification Monkey in my brain that has pretty much made the Rational Decision Maker in me useless. Anyone who has ever read Tim Urban’s Why procrastinators procrastinate blog post would understand what I am referring to. The first time listened to him talk about procrastination on the Ted talk, I felt like I finally had found someone who understood me.
It was nice not to feel like I was alone in my feelings for a moment and it was awesome to finally have a written explanation somewhere where I could just refer people when I was trying to explain things they just aren’t equipped to understand. However, that feeling did not last for long. I also seem to not have gotten the memo that finding people who suffer from the same afflictions as you can help…something. I think it’s supposed to encourage me that there are others out there and if others can defeat whatever they are facing then you can too? I don’t know, maybe that’s not what it’s supposed to do and it’s supposed to do something else but I definitely know that for me it tends to actually annoy me more often than not. Like why should I care that Mary, Rudo, and Tendai went through the same thing and conquered it, or maybe they are dealing with it now? In mind, I am not Mary, or Rudo or Tendai. They conquered this thing? Great for them, but so what’s wrong with me that I can’t deal with it? Or even if they haven’t dealt with it completely yet but are making progress, why am I not seeing any progress in my life?
I am little ashamed to admit that early on in July this year, I went through this rough patch even with my faith. I just didn’t seem to be hearing God and I was just tired of being me- the ‘me’ then, of course, the lazy, unfocused impatient procrastinating me. (Can you tell that I am struggling with the differences of who God is telling me I am and what I have been witnessing of myself in the physical. I listened to a sermon today where Pastor Prince said we need to keep our eyes on the invisible because the visible is temporary but Lord this is hard!!!)
So I went through this time where I just literally told God that I was done, that yeah He was a good God and He was faithful but obviously, I was just not meant to live that blessed life or whatever. I was just so tired of fighting and waiting. And here comes my good friend Florence trying to tell me that all those faith-filled people in the bible went through challenges and they conquered but I wasn’t having it. Girl I know I am messed up, you don’t need to show me the people in the bible, or even in this our present life who are conquering things cause that just makes me feel worse. Yeah, I know the bible says that we should find hope in knowing our brethren suffer the same affliction but girl, they are not me. What does it help me to know that they are going through something? I want a solution to my problem, not a reminder that others are pushing forward and conquering and I am just stuck here. And showing me someone who was at the same level as I was didn’t help either because I didn’t want to be like them, that’s just depressing.
I got over that little funk, thank God, but I still struggle a little with this idea of ‘if so and so can to it then so can.’ As a procrastinator, I was my own worst enemy. And the things I love the most have suffered the most in this whole situation. So the feeling of being understood by Mr. Urban lasted just a few days because when it really came to it, even he didn’t offer a solution that the Rational Decision Maker in me could work with for very long. I needed Jesus to change me but Jesus didn’t seem to be doing anything. Or maybe He had done something but I just never seem to be able to operate on His frequency and so I never get to possess the possessions He has won on my behalf. Like honestly, let’s not blame Jesus, He did a finished work, there is nothing more to be done by Him…except of course that He is up there acting as my advocate and I am still down here acting the culprit. Either way, in the natural, I wasn’t changed any.
And now here I am sitting on my bed at 2 am in the morning, thinking that I need a planner. Guess what, besides the notebook, I have a planner on my tablet and on my phone but they have never been used before. What I need isn’t a planner, I just need to start planning. And what makes it worse is what was making think I needed a planner to begin with. I was thinking I needed a planner to write down what I think God said to me about writing about a year or two ago. Girl, you don’t need a planner for that, just open Samsung notes or Evernote and you are good. And this made me realize how I am just never good at using what I have at hand and am always making excuses for not doing things. Now let’s be real, this isn’t a new revelation but somehow it always gets me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still very much want a dotted journal and I love the idea of a journal that will let me use my markers and not bleed through too much but let’s not pretend that not having that book is what is stopping us from doing what needs to be done. And while I hope that the excitement of using my markers and having lots of colors and creating a pretty planner would help get me into the game, the honest truth is there is absolutely no guarantee of that. Especially if I keep thinking this way. Instead, I might find myself a year from now realizing that I had forgotten again how I had meant to be working on my writing. So I really need to sit down with my notebook and Evernote and Samsung notes and just write some stuff down and plan some things out.
It’s at this moment that I am glad that I took a week to slow down a bit before running headfirst into things. I could have just started going hard at the things I wanted to work on and I would never have had the opportunity to figure out some of the important logistics because I would have just rushed into things. Allowing myself a week to take things slowly has given me the opportunity to consider a lot of things that would have otherwise come to me at a time that was too late. It also gave me the opportunity to remember some things that I had planned to do but since I never wrote them down I had obviously forgotten about them. This week was supposed to be rest and worship week, I have done a lot of resting but to be honest I haven’t done a lot of the worshiping bit. But even then, God has been directing me all week and showing me places where there were definitely some holes in my unwritten plans.
So agenda for the day is to take some time first to worship Him and thank Him for what He has been doing and what He is going to do, and secondly to just sit down and write my plan down. Everything else has got to wait. If I am honest with myself, I know that if I procrastinate, or somehow fail to be productive come Monday, I might not be as chill as I have been this week. This week has largely benefited from knowing that it was labeled rest week, to begin with. Though while we are on that note, I know in my last entry I said I was operating on His peace, well that was tested, like barely an hour after hitting publish on that post.
I found myself starting to panic and over think things more than just a little bit like I had that feeling in my heart and all. And do you know what God does, as I am panicking, an email from josephprince.com comes in and the featured sermon of the email is titled, “Five words to live by- The battle is the Lord’s.” Like I had literally written those words in my blog yesterday when I was talking about His peace. I think we can all guess what sermon I ended up listening to. However, even before listening to the sermon, just seeing those word reminded me to give it all to Him. So I just took some more time to pray and give it all to Him and also pray for favor for the situation I was scared to face, which I thought was about to happen. Yes people, again, it was a hypothetical situation that had me panicked. I was looking at life from former experiences again.
This brings to mind Steven Furtick’s recent sermon, Reputation Rehab. I realized that I was still carrying around that old reputation, yeah my name was changed but it seems to have not sunk in yet what that means. I was taking my former experiences and predicting my future based on experiences. And then I was comparing myself with the problem that was in the plot of the movie that was imagining in my head. Instead of comparing my God to my giants(imagined giants), I was comparing myself to them. Pastor Steven had said for us to confess that we are who He says we are and reminded me of my song for 2018, Kristene DiMarco’s I am no victim. I love love the hook of that song where she says I am who You say I am. In fact, I told Florence earlier on that those words were my word for year…so why oh why do I need to be reminded of them from a sermon preached in October when I literally am always listening to the song?
I declare that I have the mind of Christ, my mind is clear sharp and focused because it is the mind of Christ.
Holy Spirit, help me please catch this revelation and to keep it, its beginning to look like God has been trying to tell me one thing all year and I keep forgetting. I wanted to say maybe writing it down would help, but guys, I have been writing sermon notes all year long, in fact for 7 years now if we consider when I started to listen to Joseph Prince and it still didn’t sink in. Holy Spirit, I need you because I cannot, only you can. And trust me, I’ve tried. Right now instead of getting angry at myself and calling myself names, I am just going to cast it into your hands and leave to you. I was tempted to add ‘again’ to the end of the last sentence but since petty Cassie no longer exits, I am just going say praise the Lord.
So again, I need to receive that diligence and discipline and self-control from Christ where the procrastination used to be and I also need to receive His sharp mind and sharp memory. And also God just reminded me that He is the one who establishes my plans anyway, I should pray, ask for wisdom and write my plans down but keep in mind that He establishes my steps. He could totally change everything I would have planned because He knows the plans He has for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future.
But of course I need a plan first and I need to be moving because how could He establish my plans when I have no plans.
Well, Cassie, don’t worry, He is your righteousness and your salvation. You’re I AM’s, he’s got covered.