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Less of The Bachelor, More of The Bible

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I sat down this morning to spend some much-needed time with God. I was tired from staying up late watching the season finale of a reality show. A three hour endeavor, I was surprised to learn at the beginning; but I was committed. I was in it for the long haul and now I was paying the price. As I sat down to pray with a steaming hot mug of coffee in hand; Beth Moore’s Bible study, Living Free, caught my eye on my bookshelf. It was from a women’s group I’d led a couple of months ago and never finished. As I cracked it open for the first time in awhile, I learned I was on week four of six.

Hurried, scattered, disorganized, distracted, graspy is how I’d felt for the last couple of months. I flipped to the last page I had read, it was a section on finding our satisfaction in Christ. “This is where I left off?” I thought to myself, “What am I crazy?”

“Christians can be miserably dissatisfied if they accept Christ’s salvation, yet reject the fullness of a daily relationship that satisfies.” I read.

“Well, this is a little much for this early in the morning, now isn’t it?” I thought to myself.

“This is a couple of months late,” God whispered gently.

“The women you lead have already received these words.” It wasn’t a shaming or condescending voice, but an invitation; as if it was my turn to sit and receive.

So I did.

“Do you agree or disagree with that statement?” I heard Beth’s voice ask as I read the question on the page. I checked the “agree” box without having to think about it. “Please explain your answer.” Beth pressed. “Because I’m living it.” I wrote, too tired to pretend I didn’t struggle in this area.

“God offers us so much more than we usually choose to enjoy.” I highlighted.

“Dissatisfaction is only a terrible thing when we don’t let it lead us to Christ.” I underlined twice.

I went on to read the familiar definition of an idol,

“Anything we have put in God’s place.”

My mind flashed to an evening last week when I was all cuddled up on the couch, ready to watch one of “my shows.” I scrolled through my DVR recordings again and again, but I wasn’t able to locate it. Panicky feelings rose up inside me. “I have to watch my show,” I thought. “I’ll miss things! I’ll be behind!” I made a beeline to my computer, googled how to stream the show online, downloaded the episode onto my laptop.

I didn’t have the correct plug-in, so I installed the plug-in.

It didn’t work.

Refresh, refresh, REFRESH I clicked; harder each time.

A junkie, desperate for my next fix.

I’ve often referred to my shows as my “guilty pleasures,” a cute name for something that had obviously become an issue in my life. What started out as a way to unwind after a busy day of wrangling a five and two year old, had turned into an idol.

Isaiah 44:10 tells us, “A person’s idols can profit her nothing.”

Then it hit me: I have too much to do, too much to be to indulge in the time waster and downright idol my shows have become. I’m a wife, a mom, a leader of a women’s group, a writer and blogger. Those roles take time, prayer, attention, inspiration. I want and need to relax in a way that is truly restful, fulfilling, satisfying and I’ll never get that from reality tv. Instead of settling for knowing intimate details of strangers lives on tv, I want to truly connect with the people in my own life, in my own home. My husband, my kids, my good friends, the women God’s entrusted me to lead and shepherd well. I want to go to bed early, wake up feeling clear-minded and refreshed, ready to start another day of serving my God and my family well. God wants all of me, every corner of my life and one thing I’ve learned (the hard way) is that if God makes it clear that He wants me to let something go, like he did this morning; the last thing I want to do is hold onto it tighter.

Are you turning to anything that is not Christ for satisfaction? (Hint: it’s probably the first thing that comes to mind. Yeah, that one.)

Like a trained dog with a bone, listening and obeying her master’s instructions, would you set it down and walk away, Sweet Friend? He has so much more for you and me-True Satisfaction. Let’s go after it together.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to delete my recordings and finish my Bible study that ended two months ago.

***************

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Kelly Russell is married to Mark and is the mother of two kids, Ava (5) and Luke (2). They live in Ventura, CA, which is a charming yet funky beach town in Southern California. She earned her Master’s Degree in Leadership from Denver Seminary and has gone from serving at a mega church in Orange County to a rapidly growing church plant in town and is now solely leading her family. It feels small to her sometimes-this calling to care for and serve a hard-working husband and two little ones with lots of demands starting the second they wake up in the morning; yet it feels sacred.

Kelly has been influencing and leading women towards Christ ever since she was in junior high. Her greatest joy is having a part in women coming to know Christ for the first time or coming back to Him after a long time.

You can find her blog at https://kellyshayrussell.com or follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kellyshayrussellblog/ or Instagram @kellyshayrussell

 

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