Monday, July 31, 2006

Lots to love and lots to change

I thought I would change my profile picture to something a little more like me! I am a lot of fun! Okay?! Yes, I know my blog writing tends to lean towards the more serious side at times. But I will make you laugh! I will be the loudest, the craziest and the most gregarious person at the party. Well, unless Minnie is there. She is a tad bit louder, especially when she laughs! Anyway, I am sure I will change my profile picture as much as I change my hair and I actually just changed the hair last weekend but I don't have a picture so you are stuck with a picture from a couple of months ago. No, I did not cut it! It's the color, only color. This is the part of me that I love. My ability to make others laugh, do impersonations and sing at the top of my lungs while trying on clothes in the dressing room or using a public restroom (when I do this, I am usually with my best friend Rebecca), this is the part of me I am proud of! I never meet a stranger and I am a good communicator in person. No college degree but I could always interview well! So as a single adult I had great paying jobs. I like to eat out all the time, I like to go to Target and Wal Mart with a friend, not by myself and of course I would never eat out alone. It's not because I'm afraid to be alone, I just don't want to! I want to be around people constantly. I can sing or speak in front of thousands, I actually love it. While this may sound like I am just a big bragger, I am explaining the "I" that I am. If you have ever taken the DISC test, you know what I am referring to. But there is something I don't like about this test one bit! The results! I went through this testing in a Life Management course I went through that was created by Dr. Phil. It was expensive, gut wrenching, life changing and also horrible to go through. But, that was the first time I had taken the DISC test and discovered that I was not only an "I", but also a "D". In fact, my "D" and "I" were totally even on the chart. Again, if you have taken this then you know exactly what I am talking about. If not, I am quite sure you can google "DISC" and find all the information. I have now taken the test five times, hoping to see that my "I" was all alone while the other letters were way down the chart but each time the results are the same. I am a "D"/ "I". And this my friends, I hate. I don't want to be a "D"!

I like to get my own way, I will prove my point, I am honest and sometimes too honest, I want to be in charge, I will be in charge, I lead and it's extremely hard for me to sit back and follow. It's hard for me to be silent and not share my opinion and I am argumentative at times. Of course there are great things about being a "D", but since this is the part of me that usually brings trouble my way, I struggle with it a lot. Over the past month, I have really been praying about this area in my life. It's confusing for me and confusing for others I am sure. At times I am the total "I" and then if there is something I am passionate about in any way, the "D" comes barreling through! When I come across other people that fall under that "D" category, I realize how I can come across. I see it in them and then realize, "Yikes! I do that too!"

Living a spirit filled life is tough, especially when you put yourself in a box and label yourself with personalities types. I don't want to do that. But I do realize that there is a lot of truth to the results of the tests I have taken. I know that there are traits in my personality that has to be checked or sanctified. I can't strive for Holiness when I am trying to get my own way. I cannot be a Godly woman with a gentle spirit if I have to be the center of attention. As I have prayed about this for the past few weeks, the thing I come back to over and over again is self examination before the Lord. I want to be so in tune with the Lord that I feel convicted over everything I do that doesn't glorify Him. It may be a TV show I am watching, a song I am listening to or the content of my conversations or thoughts. When I get alone and listen to the Lord, He lets me know. He lets me know what doesn't match up with Him.

1. A woman addicted to reality TV or TV period! That does not line up with what I know the Lord has called me to do with my life and my testimony. Having TiVo does not help this addiction. I HAVE TO KEEP THIS IN CHECK. My time is filled with TOO many shows that I can't miss. It has become an idol. This is the most difficult conviction to deal with.

2. A woman that wants to be center stage at all times, that does not match up with what I know the Lord has called me to do. Even though I know he has called me to sing and speak, this will be something I always have to keep in check. It can't be about me!

3. A woman driven to do it my way, that does not line up with what God has called me to do. Things in my personality have to be sanctified. If I walk in the spirit, these traits will be sanctified.

4. A woman that has to have nice things in her house or new clothes to make her feel good, this is not what God has called me to be. Those things cannot be my treasure. This gets in the way of so many women's lives and it is one that could definitely take over mine. This takes a lot of prayer! If I posted pictures of my house on my blog, I would want you to see my decorating, my nice things, etc. Now to some of you that may not sound like an issue, but I know that my heart would not have the purest motive. I would want you to see my "stuff." That's wrong.

5. A woman that has to use this blog to make others think she has it all together, that is not what God has called me to do. I don't want to show off, or use this blog to lure anyone into thinking I am something I am not. If I have two readers, then I have two readers. I constantly pray that the Lord will not allow me to get sucked into certain things when it comes to blogging. It's so tempting.

Those are just five things that the Lord is showing me in my own life. I relate it to my personality traits because I am learning what I have to watch out for as I walk my path. Whenever we find a church that we will join, I will struggle. I will struggle with wanting the important people to know that I sing and all the places I have sung. I will want to tell them about all the stuff I have done, all the stuff I can do. I will sit in a Bible Study and long to be teaching it myself. I will sit in the congregation, listen to the music and picture myself up there singing. It's my flesh, it's my personality, it's my struggle and I have to learn to sit back and allow the Lord to make room for my gifts. Honestly, I am dreading the challenge. I would rather be a rock star, instantly. There's lots to love but lots to change.

Lord, you are always showing me things that need to change. But I thank you for also showing me the things that are great about me too. I constantly have to remind myself that you created me with these traits and if I walk in your spirit, they will be beautiful traits and used for the kingdom. Thank you for teaching me and getting me to a place where I can hear you so well.

19 comments:

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Amanda,
Thanks for the comment on my post. Your post was very honest and open. Thanks for that. I can see you have been doing alot of thinking/praying as well. One of your paragraphs was similar to what I expressed on my recent post. A wise man in my parents church once told my husband and I that if we lean too much on money, or for instance credit cards (that we don't have) we don't allow God the room to work. I agree. Amanda, my temptations to WANT to buy things to make my bare home decorated are there. But in not having money (you know the story, hubby in school etc) and not having credit cards...we have learned what we need and what we want. We have learned the things God CAN provide that if we'd had plastic we woulda just bought it ourself! God is awesome.

Thanks for being open and honest. That is who God wants you....and me to be.

Wendy said...

Hi Amanda, Great post. I recently joined the blog tour of homes, but hestitated when I did it. I think that had a lot to do with what you said on your post. And, my house is usually clean or somewhat picked up, which could give the illusion of having it all together, but I don't. Does that make sense? Anyway, I can struggle with the wanting things too and I think the whole house thing was probably not the best use of my time and blog. Thanks for helping me think through that more. I think I will take that post down. I want to always remember that this is my temporary home here and God has so much more for me.

I enjoy your blog. Thanks.

V. said...

Good post Amanda!

Wendy - I spent TOO much time on the tour of homes...and I kept thinking along the same lines as you expressed - it just didn't seem 'right'. How did it make the have-nots feel when they saw he homes of the 'haves'....

This is today's My Utmost for his Highest devotional - right on with today's thoughts:

Becoming Entirely His

Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing —James 1:4

Many of us appear to be all right in general, but there are still some areas in which we are careless and lazy; it is not a matter of sin, but the remnants of our carnal life that tend to make us careless. Carelessness is an insult to the Holy Spirit. We should have no carelessness about us either in the way we worship God, or even in the way we eat and drink.

Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the outward expression of that relationship must also be right. Ultimately, God will allow nothing to escape; every detail of our lives is under His scrutiny. God will bring us back in countless ways to the same point over and over again. And He never tires of bringing us back to that one point until we learn the lesson, because His purpose is to produce the finished product. It may be a problem arising from our impulsive nature, but again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to that one particular point. Or the problem may be our idle and wandering thinking, or our independent nature and self-interest. Through this process, God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right in our lives.

We have been having a wonderful time in our studies over the revealed truth of God’s redemption, and our hearts are perfect toward Him. And His wonderful work in us makes us know that overall we are right with Him. "Let patience have its perfect work . . . ." The Holy Spirit speaking through James said, "Now let your patience become a finished product." Beware of becoming careless over the small details of life and saying, "Oh, that will have to do for now." Whatever it may be, God will point it out with persistence until we become entirely His.

Amanda said...

Wow. This is awesome! I am loving these comments.

I don't think there is anything wrong with peope posting pictures of their house. God knows our hearts and mine would have been wanting everyone to see my "stuff". That's just my own struggle.

So anyone that comes here and thinks that I am criticizing that blog home tour, I am not. I just shared why I would not do something like that.

Another thing. I love fashion. I am into clothes, makeup, hair, etc. I want to look good and of course I want to look good in pictures. But I changed my profile picture to somethig silly because of what was going on in MY heart. Some of you may think I am crazy and weird. But honestly I am at a place where I don't care. I want to be all that God wants me to be and the only way I can do that is to cut the bull and be 100% honest about who I am and what I struggle with!

Wendy said...

Thanks Amanda! I really appreciate that about you. I have some of the same struggles and found myself coveting something in someone else's house, so I stopped. I know this isn't a struggle for everyone. Not everyone cares if they live in a Pottery Barn magazine, but I have to keep my eyes off of that and on Him. I want home to be more about the people there and for it to be a comfortable, loving place, not focusing on the materials there.

momteacherfriend said...

Speak on sisters.

The fact that you can name what it is that God is dealing with you on is evidence that you truly have a relationship with him.

Love ya girl.

keri said...

hey amanda...love the new photo, so spunky and fun. and thanks for your post. we can all relate to your struggles and desires. i'm not sure if you've read my latest post, but i was very hesitant to join in on the tour of homes because i greatly struggle with envy! (don't we all!)...but it was an enjoyable thing to do and actually fun to see what others have been blessed with. there was quite a variety....some more pretty than others....but that is what makes this world what it is. everyone has different personalities and it certainly shows in each others homes. so we can either look at what others have and be jealous of it....and quickly repent...or we can rejoice in what God has blessed each of us with....a roof over our heads, no matter what its decorated with. all of it is temporary anyway, right!? this world is not our home.

also....i hope you can embrace your weaknesses and trust that God will continue to perfect you. he created you with your particular personality for great reasons....and the strengths of who you are definitely show in your blog. thanks for sharing the real you with us....the real "D/I" you!!!

Amanda said...

Wendy, you are a true God chaser. I love that about you. I can tell that you are so sensitive to the Holy Spirit, that makes you such a beautiful woman. I always look forward to your comments.

Thank you Sarah. I know you are the real deal so that means a lot coming from you. I love how you strive to be more holy. You challenge me.

Keri, I think it's great when women can "name that sin" in their lives. You are for sure not the only woman that struggles with envy. You are right. We all do! I did not do the tour because I knew what I would be consumed with. I would want everyone to see my things and my decorating. I love to decorate so I struggle with always wanting more. You know? Anyway, thanks for being honest. You are an awesome woman! Oh and embracing my weakness, that's what that blog was all about. I am learning to rejoice in who I am, that's when God can really work through me. It's a journey!

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog yesterday. You do know yourself very well. I struggle with much of the same issues. Especially wanting to be in front of people. I find so much self worth when I am talking to a big group, acting in a show, leading worship... you know. Always a struggle AND Sex in the City is my favorite re-run TV Show. I even went and rented the 1st season and the last season. I was planning on watching the seasons in between and then God really convicted me.... He was working on me anyway about the show and just watching it on the WB at night. BUT the ones I rented are so much worse as far as sex and language go. I never watched them on HBO b/c we don't have cable.

I understand about the tour of homes.. but I thought it was great. I liked seeing others homes. I was happy to see that all women posted their houses. It was refreshing to see that not everyone lives in a model home. Homes are lived in, messy, and lots of times undecorated. It was a blessing to me b/c I want to do sooo much with our house and we haven't b/c we don't want to go into debt. I think other women need to see reality.

Jessica

Amanda said...

Totally agree Jessica. I thought it was great too. Maybe I can grow quickly and post pictures of my house sometime. :)

You are a wonderful friend. I am so blessed by you and I loved worshipping with you at GM. Our voices blend so great! :)

I can't wait to see your precious baby boy.

Kellie said...

Again, I am stumped after reading the post and the comments. GOD is so complete when HE works on us. I can see how all of us combine to make a full Body of CHRIST. Without any one of us we are incomplete. I praise GOD for you and for all of the women reading and commenting here. You are all a blessing to the kingdom.

Amanda, I see where we differ now. I hate shopping with other people. I just like to run in and get what I need. GOD is working on me in this area. I know it may not sound like a problem but it causes me to not desire to cultivate relationships with other women. If I could have a friend who would not be embarresed by my even talking to them in a public restroom that would be a step.

Kori said...

What a wonderful, honest post! Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself. It is funny you mentioned the DISC because I just did another one that also showed what Biblical characters you are like and what careers you might be best suited for and it was interesting! (I have been praying about starting grad school and was looking for some direction.) I have taken that test a bunch and my results were a little different this time. The last time I took it I had no kids and was in the corporate world so maybe that is part of why. LIke you said - it isn't good to label yourself, but it is great to understand how you are wired by God and let His spirit work in the positive and negative in that. I have also been working through the things I know are my "high places" and Tivo is right up there! How can there be so many fun tv shows?? Anyway, I know God is calling me to get more of my relaxation from Him and less from the television. Your post was an encouragement for me!

Jen said...

LOVE IT....VERY OPEN.
JEN

Joy said...

Ok, were you just talking about me in that post? Except for the D part, I don't have any D in me, in fact, I don't have anyting except I. Yeah, I know, extreme! I used to pray in high school that God would make me more like the sweet little quiet homeschool girls. They were so virtuous, and here was I, always sticking my foot in my mouth, and having a huge group around me.
Anyhow, all that to say, thanks for this post. Thanks for being so real. It's so important these days, especially with Christian women. We need to let it all hang out!
Blessings!!

Dee said...

WOW!! God is definitely using you in so many ways through your blog! You are so open and honest! Thanks for that!

I struggle to with envy and wish for all to be "this" way or "that." Sometimes I cave in to my human desires and then most often I find it doesn't feel as fulfilling as I thought it would.

I did the Tour of Homes and had a good time with it. For me, it was a step of boldness... some of the people we have met in this town have looked down on us since we bought a manufactured home. However, I love my home and that is just what it is MY HOME. Many don't visit us because we don't live in the "neighborhood" or in the right "school zone." So - when the tour of homes came about, I hesitated posting, not wanting people to judge me yet again. But somewhere, (hard to know which blog I read it on), someone commented that this was not to "Show off" what you have. Rather it was to share with others where you live. So in that line of thinking - I chose to post - and have received the kindest comments. So for me, it was an eye opener to how EVERYONE IS NOT judgemental! However, I do know what the other ladies are thinking -- because I have spent time looking at bloggy Tour of Homes and "desiring" things I don't have. Then I realized that I am blessed. Blessed with my home and my family, good health and love AND eternal life through Jesus Christ!!

Sorry to be long winded,(and hope my comments made sense) but wanted to share my flip side of my reason for posting. I totally understand your reason for not posting though. I struggle from time to time on sharing "news" about new purchases and whether it comes across as bragging and too find it best if I keep my mouth shut. Human nature is sometimes so powerful -- but we must learn to yield that power to the workings of Him in our lives.

Keep doing what you are doing - you are so inspiring!

Christy said...

The one thing I adore most about you - You are NOT afraid to just be you. Who God made you! I love your picture and believe it or not, we are alot alike. You always bring out things that make me really stop and think... evaluate. I can so relate to the house thing, been dealing with not buying what I want so we won't buy yet. I have come to realize we will do Gods will not mine! Once again, I am challanged!

Karen said...

I believe "transparency" is becoming your trademark.

This sure makes me think about some areas in my life.

Staying in the Word is changing your life, isn't it? God's Word is true and it gives us wisdom to minister to the needs of others. That is exactly what you are doing now.

Keep up the good work -- and stay in the Word.

luv u
mom

Kellie said...

I love to see how you are being used, by reading the comments on your posts. I too love how honest you are about yourself. You are very refreshing. All I can say is Smile, GOD loves you.

Tammy said...

Wonderful thoughts. I think many of us can relate the heart of it, which is we want to be all that God wants us to be, to acknowledge our "bent", but not give in to the more sinful tendencies. Also as new blogger, I so want to minister to others occasionally though my posts...but the "me" part really hopes to have regular readers just because...and though I think I have a place to show the amusing side of parenting (which can minister in itself) I have to pray that the "me" part doesn't get in the way.

As for the tour...I'm not ashamed of my very humble little house, but I admit, it was even more humbling to see how many other have incredible homes. Yet, there's many more Christian bloggers that didn't post their homes because, well, they were more like my house! ;) But God tells us to be thankful for where we are...and this is where we are right now. But I have a great husband and two great kids and a roof over my head...and I am blessed.

Thank you for your heartfelt post.
Blessings,
~Tammy