Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Change of Heart

Hi, my name is Angela and I’ve got issues. I sicken myself recounting the legion of moments I’ve spent ranking the attainment of my wants as top priority. I’m also fiercely stubborn. I concoct a plan and tattoo it to my consciousness. These two issues are tented under an even larger one…pride. Anyone else struggle with this beast of a vice?

Pride comes in many forms and commits many atrocities. One crime is theft. First and foremost, when I am prideful I am stealing from God. I’m taking credit for what He has done. Recently, my pride in the form of wanting more for me, has stolen from my family as well. It’s robbed them of my time and compassion.

When I started this blog I pledged transparency, so I’m going to keep my word, but please know, these are painful words to write. In fact, you may not like me after you read them…Contrary to my mission statement; I’ve been spending quite a bit of time consumed with building my readership. The seed was planted in innocence (my blog is a ministry and I want to touch the lives of others—that’s a good thing), but morphed into selfishness (I got grumpy whenever my blog rating dropped—not so good of a thing). In short, my priorities were jumbled.

Please do not misunderstand…I don’t find fault in anyone who is trying to grow a blog, or business. Those are wonderful things. But I whole-heartedly believe that in order my top three priorities need to be

  • God,
  • My husband and children,
  • Giving to others

Recently, Angie from Seven Clown Circus asked me how many hours a day I spend studying scripture. Gulp. I don’t know what the average is, but I do know that I have not been spending time studying God’s word on a daily basis.

I also know that I have not been treating my family as my most important ministry. While I’m not neglecting them by writing this blog, I am spending more time than I should be trying to “grow” this blog.

All that written, Becoming Me won’t change much. I am going to take down my blog rating feature because it causes me to obsess; and my comment count may decrease because I won’t be able to comment as much on the blogs of others. And let me just say…that hurts because I love to comment…giving comments honestly makes me happier than receiving comments. But I will still be able to respond to comments and personal e-mails.

In short, the blog won’t change, but hopefully I will. I have not been very obedient in my daily walk with God. But, by His grace and His faithfulness…I’m going to submit my selfish and stubborn pride to His will and allow Him to reap the glory.

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-35 NIV




46 comments:

Dakota's Mom said...

I think you do a wonderful job of sharing yourself so openly. And I admire your ability to not only recognize the gaps, but to do something about them. I remember reading somewhere that if we looked at how our time was spent and what we spent money on, it would shed light on our priorities. Thanks for the reminder of what is really important. God Bless, Penny

Misty said...

you may laugh at this (or not), but earlier in this blog's life (shortly after the UBP) i got kind of "jealous" of you/your blog b/cs you spoke so real-ly and had so much to offer, and for some weird reason, i compared myself to you! my blog's mission isn't even the same as yours, yet i felt the internal twinges of jealousy that i didn't have as much to offer as you. and then you did a great thing: you posted something about not comparing, and i was like: DUH! i probably even commented to such... all that to say, it IS a good think that you see in yourself a need to be less proud and giving more in the RIGHT areas w/ the right priorities... and for the record, i still love your blog and think you have a very God-given ministry!

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

Hugs :)

mommydani78 said...

thanks girl for your honesty. you know we can all relate to finding significance apart from Christ. i'm so glad He is leading you back the The Source. i really loved this post!

Emily said...

Of all the tools at Satan's disposal, pride is surely the stickiest. I'll be praying for you in your quest for humility! Best wishes!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

Most of our sins can be boiled down to one or two central issues, and my number one problem is usually pride. I applaud your willingness to meet this head on and to recognize it for what it is. I'm glad to hear that you will continue to blog, because it has been such a blessing to me!

Xandra

Monica said...

I so admire your willingness to share your struggles and take the steps to conquer them! You have much to give and are doing so in just setting an example.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

My time alone with Him this summer has been pitiful...He's working on some of the same stuff if my heart. I appreciate your honesty here, just want you to know that pride...it smites me too :)

Iris said...

Is there any sin in my life not rooted in pride? I'm in the struggle with you, and so appreciate your honesty and example. Thanks.

Classic MaMa said...

:) I think, at one time or another, we bloggers have faced this same issue. :) Be of good cheer, friend, you are in good company.

Gretchen said...

Hello. My name is Gretchen, and I am a prideful piece of poo. Saved by grace. Thank God.

Great post, great reminder.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Do I have any sin NOT rooted in pride? Transparency -- with Jesus, with myself and with others -- is one of many tools useful in knocking me off of the Pride Pedestal. Hugs to you.

Kimberly said...

Hmmmm....this all looks so familiar to me. Hmmmmm...could it be because it is SOOOOOOOO much of the prideful stuff I deal with?!?! Yes, indeed. If you have a second, you can come read my post from late last night. Not trying to get you to stay on the computer more! Just want you to see that God has had me asking myself some questions.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your opennness! This post is a BLESSING to me! And it makes me love you MORE not less!

Love,
K

Amy said...

God bless you in your shift in priorities. We all face the issue/sin of pride. I know I do in my own life. Satan's sin was pride and I think he tries to tempt all Christians with it. Satan wants us to act just like him. I will be praying for you. I do appreciate your blog and the honesty you share with us. Blessings.

Cheryl said...

Angela,
Thanks for honesty and transparency. It is so easy to get caught up in the # of comments and stuff! I've found myself focusing on it as well. Thanks for the reminder of what our priorities should be!
Love you!

MaryBeth said...

I too have been struggling with blog related issues lately... am I spending too much time "in the computer", reading other blogs, should I give it up, just make a few changes, etc? I'm struggling to put God first and have the rest of my priorities in line as well. My hope is that through prayer and more study of His Word I'll find balance or the answers to my many questions. I'll be praying for you too! Thanks for you openness and honesty... I'm right there with you.

manda2177 said...

I just left you a nice long comment and it was lost. Blech.

Maybe I should keep it short and sweet.

Good for you. Honor Him. His is the only opinion that matters.

And its a good testimony to the ret of us. We should all strive to make Him the focus of everything we do always.

God bless-
Amanda

Wendi said...

Wow. wow. wow. :) God has been speaking to me of so many similar issues...
Thank you so much for your honesty. This had to have been a difficult one to write. I relate to no end. I see alot of people do. Let me just say - you are a blessing. I appreciate you and applaud you as you seek to be more like Him.

Mrs. Sidney said...

Thank you for sharing and this will not change my reading of your blog. I foundmyself doing the same thing at home recently and luckily fo rme my hubby mentioned my face always being in my phone (pda) or computer. Another awesome things is that I have plenty of time on most days at work to blog. I am in the porcess of re devoting myself to the people who matter, God, hubby and son. I commend you for sharing. May God bless you on your journey!

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts so openly today. You have really encouraged me, as I am struggling with very similar issues.

God Bless,
Amy:)

Tracy said...

it's hard being held accountable - thanks for the honesty.
blessings.

White Hot Magik said...

I too can relate to those thoughts. Pride is a killer. Most recently I have let it get in the way of several activities. Thanks for the reminder and for heeding him.

Nora

angie said...

I totally understand where you are coming from and I think that your dedication to keeping your top priorities TOP is commendable and something we can all learn from. I feel like my life is a balancing act and I'm constantly trying to do everything I WANT to while meeting my commitments. It rarely works. :) I appreciate your thoughts on this today!

Earthmommy said...

Your blog is a ministry to many, and I am certainly one of them. I identified clearly with your owrds in this post, I have to work really hard to keep my priorities in order when I have any sort of extra project going.

Julie said...

It's so hard not to seek the affirmations of man. After all we so often want to know that our lives are significant and fulfilling some great purpose. We want to know we are touching lives with our lives. We want to know that we are giving away pieces of Him, glimpses of Him in what we write, say, do.

But in the midst of a desire to be used of Him, our flesh filters in and somehow it becomes about US.

We all go there, I think. I would find it very hard to believe that the majority of people in blogworld look for some type of affirmation that they are heard.

BUT the motives behind it all is what tells the story.

Your vulnerability and openness bless Him and US.

Hugs,
Julie

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

well my dear... I have... I am.. still am.. right where you are..

Prideful... that is one of those "thorns in the flesh" that Paul speaks of...

so with that said.. it keeps me/us humble.. and reminds me/us to give mercy to others.. yes?!

not a bad thing!

I got caught up in the game.. yes.. game... of always feeling like I had to comment.. and be popular on the blog network..so it was huge for me to step back and let God be the reason for blogging not MY popularity...

so I hear you my friend...

refocusing..

I will be in prayer with you..

You will learn a lot about yourself..good stuff...

Love ya friend
Connie

GiantsPrincess said...

You go girl! Stay true to God, stay true to your family and rest will fall into place...with a bit of work.

Classic Mama said...

Nope, I don't own the T-shirt company on my blog, but I do know the wonderful Mom who does. They are awesome shirts. High quality, too. ('Cause my husband wears his once a week and we've had them for almost a year.) Thanks for asking and thank you for visiting my blog!

Mommy B said...

I had to do the same thing. Mine was more of jealousy from those with bigger visit numbers. After repenting, I deleted it

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Keeping those priorities straight...it's a battle I constantly fight. Thanks for keeping it real and sharing with us. Your willingness to be open is such an encouragement.

Genny said...

Angela,
That verse from Matthew is one of my favorites, and back in college it had a profound impact on me. Your post is heartfelt, honest, and I respect what you are doing, and desire to do. Don't be too hard on yourself in the process. You write beautifully and touch many lives. This blog will always be a place for people to come and learn, and to be touched by your heart. Have a great day!

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

I have felt this way at times too. But have tried to do my blogging while the family is gone and my chores are done.
And sometimes between chores. LoL
And I love your blog. It really helps me when I read it. But you do what you have to do.
xoxo Nita

Joy said...

You'll do fine!!! Humility is a beautiful thing... something I probably need more of myself!

Tiffanie said...

I can relate and I really respect your openness and honesty. When I first started blogging I dove in head first and neglected my time with God and family, but have come to realize that when my priorities are outta whack I really don't have much to offer. And numbers aren't everything. If just one person is impacted... isn't it worth it.

Thanks for the reminder... I need it from time to time too. I think what you are doing is great, and it is evident that your heart is for God and His will. Thanks for sharing this post.

Beautiful Craziness said...

I'm with you on so much of it! Those site meters can be overwhelming in themselves!

Angie said...

(((hug))) Been there, done that, and have come to terms myself with that little malady myself. It creeps back in rather easily too. Since I have started "blogging without obligation", that has helped me as well.

It's all about Him!

Shonda said...

The Lord loves honesty and repentance. He loves you. I too have been caught up in the trap. I have tendencies to be a people pleaser to seek affirmations. I must seek to please God first. Thanks for being transparent as this example helps me and others to also be transparent before the Lord and others.
Engrafted by His Grace-
Shonda

sister sheri said...

You are a kindred spirit, my sister. We all have to learn to rely upon the Lord even in our blogging! We are dependent on HIM. And you are not alone. But just because you got a little over-involved... don't let the gift God has given you be torn away from you.

Beloved MaMa said...

One of my bloggy friends noticed that we have the same priorities listed on our blogs...I promise I didn't steal your ideas!!! God's been reminding me to re-prioritize, I even wrote a paper on it in my recent psych class :)

You are, however, an inspiration through all that you write :)

mandy said...

This was exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you!!

anm said...

Be encouraged sweet sister, you are listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and making room in your life for more of our sweet Savior. Be blessed. I also had to give up the blog world for about a month because I was allowing too much time into it. Its our continuous quest for ever elusive balance in our life right? I just finished a great Bible study called No Other Gods, by Kelly Minter. I would recommend it to any and everyone. Its about clearing things out of the space in our heart that our God is jealous of.
Take heart and keep on becoming you through Him. I love the name of your blog name! In Him, Adrian

Wifey said...

I think you've touched on something many of us deal with. Thanks for sharing and for the gentle reminder - smiles!

Alana said...

I think when blogging takes precedence something is definitely off kilter. I've been there and am continually trying to reevaluate the time I spend on here...especially commenting on other's blogs. I hate it because I consider everyone of my blog friends...just that...friends. But I think anyone who as been at this blogging thing for long realizes that there comes a point when you have to be more realistic with the time you spend at it.

Treasure Seeker said...

You are precious! I love your blog and love your heart.

God will honor your sincerity and humility.

.... and you really should think about that book!

:)
dorinda

Lisa writes... said...

A struggle I think we've all experienced from time to time. May the Lord bless you as you seek to honor Him and bring glory to the only One worthy, as you live and as you blog through your living and your blogging. I am only one reader, but I am blessed by your words and your blog friendship!

Tracy said...

Thanks for being so open and truthful and real. I too at times have struggled with this. Based on the comments...looks like many others have as well. Praying for you, me and others as we seek to please Him through our blogs.

Your humility has only further endeared you to my heart...

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