So I love the new blog. But I think I overcommitted it. What started out as having a recurring theme on one day turned into me scheduling the life out of it – Tuesday’s was for dreams, Wednesdays were Wordless, Thursdays were bible studies and Fridays were fashion. That only left Mondays for me to write. Just write about whatever random stuff is in my head. As this got more and more scheduled, I found I had less I wanted to say about the scheduled stuff and just longed to get around to Monday so I could write my heart. So I’m tossing all the preplanned blog posts on scheduled days for at least a week so I can write about some stuff that has been sitting in the queue and some stuff that has cropped up in my heart.
Today, and for probably a few posts, I’d like to write a little about conviction. There’s the traditional meaning of conviction and then there’s this faith-based interpretation I’m addressing. The general definition of conviction, as per good old Merriam-Webster, is either “the act or process of finding someone guilty of a crime” or “a strong persuasion or belief.” So if you speak with conviction, it comes out of this deep sense of belief about the topic. But the faith-based conviction is a little different, though clearly linked to those concepts. I love how Wiki puts it, “Religious conviction describes the assertion of religious individuals that they are directed by God to take specific actions in honor of their conviction. Examples might include a conviction to change personal behaviors that are sinful and apart from God’s will.”
I don’t consider myself a “religious individual,” but I certainly hold fast to my faith. And it is that conviction to change that I’m battling these days. Three convictions really. One conviction you’ve seen me talk a lot about lately. The other two I haven’t mentioned: the first because people are all over the map on this issue and I don’t want to tackle it; the second because I stay away from stuff that involves my husband. Plus – I hate to look bad. But I read this from Lisa Jo Baker about being brave enough to be un-fine, and it reminded me I need to write this. So here are the three areas where I’m facing conviction:
- Materialism – this is the one you’ve spotted. I’ve been in the teeth of this darn thing since last August with my 39 Things challenge and then more recently fighting through Jen Hatmaker’s “7.” I get rid of stuff and then accumulate it and then get rid of it – I have to adopt a process that weeds out acquisition of “stuff” for stuff’s sake.
- Drinking – I drink wine. I know some Christians are opposed to drinking and some Christians drink all the time so that’s why I don’t like to talk about it because I think it’s up to the person and God. But here’s the thing. I am genetically predisposed to alcoholism. I actually did not drink until I turned 21. Then I drank a lot. Then I got married and just drank socially. Now I drink a glass of wine (or two) at night after the kids go down. It’s not a problem if it’s not a problem. It is a problem if it is.
- Marriage – You might not guess this, but I can be a challenge. My husband can be a challenge too. Because we are both really strong willed people with very different perspectives on things. It makes us strong as a couple and it also makes us weak. I haven’t been paying enough attention to my marriage. It’s fine, but it won’t be if I keep working hard at work and then come home and put the kids down and watch my t.v. show and ignore my relationship.
So I’m going to talk a little about this stuff. I don’t even know exactly what I want to say only that I’m hoping transparency on this stuff will also hold me accountable. I’m also going to talk about funny stuff because my life is really funny right now too. And my kids crack me up. Sunday night eating dinner out I nearly passed out crying I was laughing so hard at what the baby said. So I’ll tell you that story too. I’m going to write more about the cord that dance post struck – I got more emails, comments, and Facebook posts on that than anything this year. And just hang in here with me while I jump over all the planned posts in order to get this stuff written while it needs to be written about.
Write what presses upon you, Gindi. When I first suppressed what was important to me, my blog died on the vine. 🙁
I hear you on materialism. It can be so insidious. I swore up and down I wasn’t materialistic. It wasn’t until I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University that I realized how important stuff was to me. It took several years, but I have done a ton of letting go, and I feel so much lighter and freer for it. The key for both my hubbie and I was a budget in which we no longer allowed for the accumulation of stuff. We became so intentional about our spending, which meant less clutter and stuff, and much more to share and give.
You are right Kim – even though we don’t have a lot of debt, I’ve thought about us doing FPU just so we could really recognize how all this money is slipping through the seive (my doing) and make sure it’s being directed where it should be….
Sometimes, when we get too planned, it’s about control. I am not a scheduled person, so sometimes, in an effort to be more together, I sometimes go overboard and find myself boxed in by the routine or schedule that was supposed to give me more freedom. Anyway, I enjoyed this post and your transparency. It’s so easy to have an online persona that seems perfect and put together. Thanks for your honesty! 🙂
Thanks Roseanne – and I’m ALL about control so I know that’s part of it. I appreciate the encouragement.
I know how you are feeling. I had planned my week about the same, certain topics for each day, only really leaving one day to share what God puts on my heart. So, I still have the plan, but give myself permission to veer off course should God whisper something to my heart. Blessings!
Barbie – I think that is the best way to tackle it!!
Christine Wright says
I just can’t wait to read these! I am and will continue to pray for you. (and all of the things you mentioned make me realize we are even more similar* than we thought we were…even when we thought, we thought we knew…you know?)
*Except in those little things like your liking schedules and my being allergic to them, and your being an awesome attorney and my life revolving around never seeing the bottom of laundry baskets…but other than a few nit picky things…we are so alike!
Thank you Christine!!! And we shouldn’t be surprised anymore at how alike we are – I’m going to talk you into coming to the first night of Allume so we can stay up all night talking!!!
Elizabeth Anne May (@seasonswithsoul) says
Gindi: I’m so glad you opened your heart here, and cleared your schedule! The topic of conviction is one I’ve just been discussing with my mom too. I can relate to all three of your areas of conviction, on some level, so I’ll be fighting through this with you, friend!
Thanks so much Elizabeth Anne.
Shavonnah Roberts Schreiber says
Authentic. That is the word that came to mind when I read this post. Thank you for your authenticity Gindi-it’s a blessing to all who read your post. I believe God smiles on us when we are our authentic selves. Of the three things you wrote about-all of which are interesting and things many of us struggle with at one time or another-the one that stood out was #2-drinking. I had this conversation with myself( and God) for about a year and what I ended with, I am called to do everything that I do to the glory of God-everything. Also, it reminds me of 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV: “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.” Paul goes on to say later in Chapter 10: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
That said, if a person feels that by having a drink that they are not bringing glory (for example if their aim is to get drunk-which is prohibited) to God, then they should opt out. As you pointed out, each individual has to search their own hearts to determine what their true motives are and what their boundaries are in all that they do. Good post and I am excited to see what other “unplanned” things you write about this week 🙂
That’s it exactly – that’s what my friend Amy said about 10:23 – it’s just not all beneficial. That’s where you have to wrestle with God and figure out what He knows most benefits you. I appreciate all your encouragement.
Love reading your posts. So inspirational. An looking forward to this upcoming series since I totally relate to all 3 areas (#1 and 3 personally and #2 in relation to family members).
Thanks Patsy – so nice to see your name pop up here 🙂