Hello Mornings {Winter-Spring ’11} Katie’s Story

This following is a post from Katie Orr, one of the #hellomornings accountability gals.

Katie’s Story

After a good solid stretch of smooth sailing in my attempts to rise early to prepare for the day (and even moving my rising time up by a full hour!) a change has come that has knocked the wind out of my sails.

Daylight. Savings.

Maybe you are here with me? If not, you probably have your own wind-sucking event around the corner. A family stomach-bug. A new pregnancy. A road trip. Exhaustion. It is easy to be shipwrecked by the unexpected.  There is a crucial battle in my heart and mind I must not forget about as I strive to become more like Jesus.

Managing My Expectations

This has been a long journey for me. Learning that there will be ups and there will be downs. I will fail. I cannot do it right all the time.

If I am not careful, I assume that my sanctification (the process of becoming more and more like Jesus) “should” look like this:

No snags, no bumps in the road, no failures. Just success.

When the wind is taken out of my sails there are two dangerous waves I must be on the look out for.

The Waves of Denial and Discouragement

When I succumb to the Wave of Denial I believe the lie that it is not ok to struggle. I deny that I have a need. Put on my “everything is great” smile. Have my “God is good” locked and loaded. Pretend that I have it all together. This is a dangerous place. When I deny to others that I have failures, I deny my need for grace.

If I am not careful I find myself swaying the other way and get stuck wallowing in my failures. “I should be better than this.” “Why can’t I be more like so-and-so?” I let the Wave of Discouragement overtake me.

When I was in college minister I often knew without asking when my girls were struggling. They stopped coming to Bible Study. They didn’t answer or return my phone calls. One excuse after another as why they were suddenly too busy to meet. I knew that it wasn’t that History exam that was suddenly so important; they felt like they had failed in one way or another and they didn’t want to face it. Instead of running to grace they stayed in the storm; stuck tossing back and forth between denial and discouragement. Shipwrecked.

A Realistic Picture

Consider with me a different course. The first cross in this picture represents our first life-changing encounter with Christ, the last representing when we see Jesus face to face in perfect glory:

There will be winter and there will be spring. There may be active rebellion, or long periods of stagnancy. If I am truly in a relationship with God, though the path may be rocky, over the course of a lifetime I will look more like Christ. My ups and downs are going to look different from yours but both our journeys will have these hills and valleys. God has a plan for both.

I am encouraged when I remember that “it is God who works in [me], both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) He is still working, even on the mornings that I don’t get up in time to study my Bible, or weeks of distraction and busyness go by and I have not chosen the necessary thing (to sit at Jesus’ feet). “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in [me], will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

God started the work. God continues the work. God will complete the work.

Whether you are on a mountaintop or in the valley, in a great time of growth or an enduring season of winter, be encouraged. Take a look behind you at the journey God has had you on and remember the places in your life that God has already transformed. Expect Him to continue to work in you; put up those sails and wait for the winds to change.

If you are His, He is working. And that means everything (even if you did hit snooze this morning).

Where Are You?

Do you feel like you’re climbing a mountain, walking in a valley or somewhere in between?

Leave a Comment

Comments

21 Comments

  • This is perfect for me this week! Thanks Katie! I love the illustrations. It definitely seems easier to deal with these down times when we expect them.

    It seems that God looks at our walk as a whole too…just thinking about how David was called a man after God’s own heart, yet He fell so terribly. Thankfully God sees our entire journey. I’m glad He is patient with us!

  • I have been down in the valley, but I am on my way out!
    Great post!
    Bernice

  • Avatar Lara says:

    “I have my ‘God is good’ locked and loaded.” That’s hilarious (and true!). Thanks for this encouragement, sweet Katie!

  • Avatar Christin says:

    Katie, wonderful testimony and some great encouragement here. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    I’m so happy my valley is almost over here because I really want to join up again–more regularly.

  • Avatar Reba says:

    This is so encouraging! I’m not sure where I am, in terms of ups and downs, but I do know that soemhow, only by Grace, I am more aware of being okay despite the ups and downs. Which is mind boggling if I stop to think about it too much. LOL. So I just keep going….walking with Him…and when I get off track I call to Him or wait to hear where He is and then take another step in the journey. Thank you for what you wrote Katie, it clarified some things for me. 🙂

    • Avatar Katie Orr says:

      “So I just keep going….walking with Him…and when I get off track I call to Him or wait to hear where He is and then take another step in the journey. ” Love this! Press on, my friend!

  • Avatar Kat says:

    Such great wisdom Katie. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Avatar Jenni says:

    Thank you for the encouragement, Katie! Daylight Savings definitely ruined my life… I just can’t seem to get out of bed anymore, and I was doing so well. I’m hoping that the start of April means I can reevaluate my expectations and create a new plan that works for me now!

  • Avatar Elizabeth says:

    My husband & I were just talking about the ‘sanctification graph’ this week and we decided instead of the X & Y graph (like you’ve pictured) that it really needs to be a 3D graph with the Cross in front of us, we go forward and a little to the side or up and down but the goal of sanctification is always getting a little closer to the goal.

  • Avatar Jill Garcia says:

    Thank you for sharing this, it was exactly what the Lord wanted me to read today! I’ve been wanting to jump on the #hellomornings bandwagon for quite some time, but with a two year old, and 7 month old who just recently started sleeping through the night, it’s been difficult. Now that we’re all settled in, I can’t wait to make the necessary changes in order to be a better wife, mother, and woman after God’s own heart!

    • Avatar Katie Orr says:

      I hope you do “jump on the bandwagon”! Even just 15 minutes before your kids usually rise. That is how I started out. It was amazing the difference it made for them to wake up to me, instead of me waking up to them.

  • Avatar Taylor says:

    Thank you Katie!!! So encouraging! At the beginning of a pregnancy and with severe back pain, I just want to stay in bed. I have been tempted to believe lies about my walk with God so I just thank you for reminding me of the truth! I’m so privileged to know you!!! 🙂

    • Avatar Katie Orr says:

      Thankful for our Crusade days in Atlanta!
      Be encouraged, Taylor. God’s grip on us has nothing to do with the time we get out of bed. 🙂 I know you know that, but I forget it sometimes.

  • Avatar Bobbey says:

    Thank you Katie for sharing this. It’s been a rough day after several rough weeks, and this was most definitively what I needed to be reminded of. 🙂

  • Avatar Michaela says:

    Katie, thank you so much for this today. I’ve been struggling to get up for a few weeks now….so thankful for your words today!

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