Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to Find Your Way in His World

Sometimes I think women fall for the myth that we must "find ourselves".  Even precious Christian sisters fall into the trap of thinking that if we could just discover who we really are, life would fall magically into place and we would know the blueprint for our lives. We get so busy as wives and moms that when we have moments to ourselves, when our children move on, if we aren't involved with other activities and hobbies, we don't have an identity.

The tagline of my blog is a quote by George Bernard Shaw, "Life is not about finding yourself.  It's about creating yourself."  The quote hit home for me, as one by one, my children grew up and left the nest.  "Oh no", I thought!  "What am I going to do with my time?  Who am I when I'm not busy being a mom?  I better find out who I am without a diaper bag!  How do I keep from flailing around aimlessly, trying to figure out what is next for me?"

Create myself...what does that look like?  How do I do that and where do I go to do it?  I was a member of a Bible study with a group of women studying Henry Blackaby's book, Experiencing God:  Knowing and Doing the Will of God.  In his book, Blackaby stresses over and over, how simple it is to know the will of God for your life.  We have the tendency to make it so much more difficult.  It's not a great mystery that you will only uncover if you spend hours in prayer, begging Him to reveal His plan for you.  God is always at work around you, inviting you to be a part of His work with Him.


I've discovered that one of my passions is photography!  This passion has led me to meet many new people and see God at work in many groups in my city of Tulsa.  The Lord has used my photography for His plans and purposes because I just got busy with it.  
As I reflected on where He might be at work around me, I realized the Lord is at work in my own home, in my neighborhood, at the gym, in volunteer work, in my city...literally every where I turn, God is busy doing a work there.  And as I step into His work, here and there, I begin to create myself.  I make connections with people, I find organizations that I didn't know existed, I find groups with the same passions as mine.  And then I get busy. I accept His invitation to join Him in His work.

In looking at God's will for my life in this manner, it actually takes a great pressure off of me.  Because you see, dear heart, when we join Him in His work, the pressure is on Him! It's not us trying to find the way to make something happen, but instead, coming along side Him and helping to carry out His plans.  While we are busy doing His work and His plans, we will come to find that we have created ourselves, defined our passions, and walked an amazing path that we would not have found if we hadn't just dug in and gotten busy with God where He was working.

There are so many places to join God in His work in my city!
Are you struggling to know His plan for your life?  Do you want to understand His will for you.  Look around you for areas where He is at work, roll up your sleeves and join Him in what He is doing.  What have you discovered that you're passionate about?  Share with us here how you see Him at work around you and how you have joined Him there!

See how God is revealing Himself to others at A Pause on the Path.

From His lap,

50 comments:

  1. Love your blog! The hardest thing was learning that I needed to stop seeking who I was and start seeking the person that God wants me to be. Making that happen is how I have been creating myself. God Bless you and your family!

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  2. I am not certain if I have found myself yet -- but I am so glas Jesus found me. Loved your post, such wonderful thoughts and photos too!
    Tulsa is a special city. We lived in Broken Arrow two different times when we attended Rhema.

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  3. Isn't it freeing when you realize that God will show you who and how to be, Carolyn?! Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I'm so glad you stopped by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  4. A Joyful Noise,
    I am a Rhema graduate also! Such a wonderful school! Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I'm going to go visit yours!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  5. I love Blackaby's Experiencing God study! It changed my view of God and my place in the world.

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  6. Yes, Beck!!! It totally changed the way I look at His will for my life!! Thanks for stopping by!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  7. have done the Blackaby study twice! it is so good, and continues to encourage my heart. LOVE what he says about the will of God...and that we need to join Him in His work. GREAT POST! I am passionate about gardening & writing...i guess i have a different style of blog-writing, but it just flows and comes from my heart. thus, when i get time, i can go blog about what i am learning as a Christ-one :) Thanks for such a great post..

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  8. Jeanette,
    I'm so glad to be finding out that many women have read this study! Blackaby makes God's will seem so attainable and doable! We all have different styles of writing and one is not better than another. Your blog is wonderful! Thank you so much for visiting!
    Hugs,
    ~Erin

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  9. Experiencing God is an amazing study! SO awesome!

    My father-in-law always says, "Look and see what God is doing - then join Him there. If you can see it, and it touches your heart, you're likely not going to get in the way, because God has revealed it to you for a reason."

    Thanks for this post. It resonates with me today.

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  10. Oh, Raylene,
    What an awesome word! Your father-in-law said it perfectly. I'm just amazed at how many folks have done the Experiencing God study. I did it 3 yrs ago and am getting ready to do it again!
    Thank you for visiting and blessing us so!
    ~Erin

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  11. I did this book back in 1995 with a bible study I started in English for the few English speaking women I knew on the banana plantation we lived on in Changuinola, Panama. It was such a blessing to each of us, all in our own stages of life and walk with the Lord. I loved it.

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  12. Erin,
    I did this study about 10 years ago when I was about to resign from hospice, just a burned-out, frustrated social worker who tried to to something great for God but feeling like a failure. How awesome when I discovered that God didn't want my works and good deeds, He simply wants me. The God of the universe craves an intimate relationship with little ole me. How incredible is that? So glad I found your blog. I'll visit here often.

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  13. Erin, I interpert what you are saying as do what is in front of you, that is where you will find God and yourself and that makes perfect sense to me. We do not have to search miles and miles we need only do the next thing infront of us and then continure on. Great message!! Thanks Erin I also get so much out of your post!!

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  14. I think God has been working in me for years, preparing me and equipping me with a God-fearing heart so He can now work through me in my writing, as a friend, a parent, a wife, and a daughter. Ten years ago I never would have seen myself writing a blog with a tagline "one mom's journey to glorify God." I feel my writing is one way He's called me to serve His purpose. The other way is through relationships, especially that with my children. My work, is to raise them up to know God and to love Him. To reveal God to them through my love, my words, and my actions. I'm doing a bible study right now called Anointed, Transformed, and Redeemed by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur. So far I've learned the story of David. That at 15 yrs old He was chosen by God to be King over the Israelites. But the very next day he was back out in the field herding sheep. It wasn't until 22 yrs later that David took his seat as King. God has a plan for all of us. We just don't always see it or understand what it is right when we've been chosen for it.

    Blessings,
    Rosann

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  15. Hi Erin :)

    Visiting your blog from VB :) I do hv the same passion as yours which is photography but rarely get the chance to fully experience the joyness of it.. :) Good to know that you're experiencing it with the presence of God ^_^

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  16. Shanda,
    You have led the most amazing life...a banana plantation. I think Blackaby's studies are timeless. He changed the way I look at the Father's will for my life!
    Hugs, Sister!
    ~Erin

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  17. I'm very fortunate, I learned at an early age that my passion is Art. I've followed the path that God has put me on to learn and apply my passion. I'm following from VB Friends to Remember. Hope you are having a great week.

    Dayna

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  18. Susan,
    Thank you for sharing that with us. I'm so glad you discovered that He just wants you to join Him in an intimate relationship! You blessed me with your comment!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  19. Kathy,
    I just love you! I'm so glad you enjoyed my post and yes, you interpreted it exactly as I meant it. You are such a blessing!
    Hugs!
    ~Erin

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  20. What a very good word, Rosann! I can attest to the fact that you are called to write! I am always blessed by what you post! Such a very good point about King David, the shepherd boy!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  21. Ken,
    I'm so glad you came by for a visit. Photography is a wonderful passion. The thing about photography is that there are times we don't shoot things that bring us joy, but some other emotion. Photos can bring pain, fear, love...and so many more emotions. Just go with your passion!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  22. Dayna,
    How wonderful that you learned your passion early and you have been running with it all this time! God is using you!! Thanks for stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  23. Your tag line has always inspired me! Hugs to such an inspiring woman!

    Visiting from voiceBoks
    Thanks, Becky Jane
    http://riseaboveyourlimits.blogspot.com/

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  24. Love & Hugs, Becky Jane. Thanks for the kind words!
    Love you so much!
    ~Erin

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  25. Now that is what I call my "big girl" study. Nothing sexy or fluffy - just hard work to learn to know God. I am so glad we took that journey together. It is annoited and has stuck with me more than any other study.

    Love YOU!
    Dianne

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  26. It was the best one, Dianne. I took nuggets away from that study that have stuck with me everyday!
    I'm so glad we went through it together too!
    Love you,
    ~Erin

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  27. What a beautiful quote and equally beautiful post. I look forward to "creating." :0)

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  28. In my life, I have come to realize that when I worry about what next in my life, that is when I know that I am not allowing God to be in charge. I believe that in seeking God, we find ourselves. It is then that we find out where God wants us to be and the nature of his heart for us. Very insightful post Erin!

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  29. Elisabeth,
    I would bet that you've already started creating!! You are very gifted. Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  30. Miriam,
    That is so true. Worry does nothing good and it doesn't allow for God to be in control of our destiny! Wonderful point. You are a blessing to me!
    ~Erin

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  31. What wonderful words!
    I too have found much blessing, in just resting!
    Pamela@ReviewsSheROTE

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  32. Your blog post has hit home for me. I'm also struggling to find who I am outside my role as mother, and am feeling frustrated. I TOTALLY need a hobby! I, too, love photography and am thinking I need to dust off the ole camera and get to work.

    Gina from vB
    www.totallyfullofit.com

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  33. touching post, erin. in the past few years i have learned so much about life and love and what trusting in my faith and God will do for my soul.
    when i was younger, i thought i had it all planned out. i thought i could control so much. as trying as times can be, i wouldn't have it any other way. God has blessed me and my friends and family in such beautiful ways. i learn new lessons each day and know i will be able to take them with me through life.
    i hope you're having a sweet day!
    <3
    maria

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  34. Hi Erin - what a great way to look at things. I choose to re-create my life around His word and not my emotions. God bless
    Tracy

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  35. Pamela,
    Thank you for stopping by & for your very kind words! Yea for blessing in resting. Love those words, Pamela.
    Thanks for blessing me today!
    ~Erin

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  36. Gina,
    Go for it!! Just take your camera wherever you go in your home, your neighborhood, your city! You will find more than you ever dreamed to photograph! You go, girl!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  37. Maria,
    It's better when He's in control! That way, we can rest in hope and faith, but doing what ever He asks us to do along side of Him!
    I heart you, Maria!
    ~Erin

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  38. That is a wonderful way of putting it, Tracy! Thanks for that good word. I know you'll do it too!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  39. Experiencing God. One of my favorite studies. EVER! Truly life changing!

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  40. I love the way you put this! I'm so nervous about teaching Sunday school this weekend. But, he won't let me flounder while I'm doing His work! Stopping by from voiceBoks.com members to remember

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  41. Beautiful post, Erin. I love Shaw's quote - if only all younger adults & teens could grasp onto that. Maybe it a societal thing, but we so much are searching instead of just being, which I'm guilty of and constantly reminding myself! As to moms finding themselves - I think if they had not pursued interests prior to kids, then maybe there is a sense of "finding" after kids grow up. Now that both my little guys are in school I feel like I can "get back to" my interests.

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  42. Shannon,
    I'm so happy to find out how many women have done this study! It's awesome. Thanks for stopping by!
    Love you!
    ~Erin

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  43. Michelle,
    You will do a great job on Sunday, I'm sure of it! Just speak out whatever He is putting on your heart and you can't go wrong. I'm so glad you stopped by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  44. Nan,
    I know what one of your passions is and you sure are great at it! Follow it with all your heart and I know you will do great things.
    Hugs!
    ~Erin

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  45. I remember once struggling over discerning which way to go with an opportunity and not hearing God well. One morning clear as it could be, I felt Him saying , "It doesn't matter which way I will bless either direction. What do you really want?" I knew my answer was NOt to take the opportunity and was flooded with peace and joy. I think God wanted to part of the journey not the destination. I don't think that is true of all decisions but was certainly true in this one. very good post, Erin

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  46. What a lovely post. I often struggle with this, so landing here and reading your words was a blessing today. Stopping by from vB, and I'll be back :)

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  47. Jean,
    I love that!!! He does want to be a part of the journey! And I think you're right...sometimes it's the journey that He wants us to go through, not so much reach a certain destination! I'm so glad you stopped by to share this word, Jean!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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  48. Lisa,
    I stopped struggling with this so much after I did the Blackaby study. It is so simple and just makes sense!
    I'm so glad you came by for a visit!
    ~Erin

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  49. Erin,
    I loved this study when we did it at church many years ago. I remember it was in the Autumn season, and I took my Bible and studyguide to Brady's Run Park near the lake. The scenery was breathtaking with the Autumn leaves reflecting in the lake. I was experiencing God's majesty in creation as I was learning to experience Him day by day in my life.
    This study began a huge change in my spiritual life. I had direction. I was no longer wondering what God's will was for my life.
    If you are reading this and haven't done this Bible Study, DO IT. It will revolutionize your walk with God. You will follow Him daily.
    Thanks for sharing, Erin. Keep touching lives with your blogs. God has given you amazing talents, and you are using them for His glory!
    Love,
    Susan

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  50. Susan,
    Through this post, I have found so many people who have already done the study. I'm so glad to know that. It changed my life too!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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