When It All Started
A few year ago, sitting in a little café, I couldn’t help but notice a chalk board next to the entrance that read “Verse of the Week”. This particular week, the verse written was James 2:17: “Faith, by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead”.
At the time, my children were only 2 and 3 years old and I was a single mother, working 60 + hours a week, living with my grandmother
Between raising two toddler, long work hours with strict deadlines, along with any and everything else that came my way, I was spinning in circles! I spent most of my time praying just to have a little peach and quiet and the ability to sleep. I often wondered if my prayers would ever be answered.
That day though, I was sure they were about to be. This verse weighed so heavily on me. It just had to mean something for me!
That was five years ago.
Over the last year, I finally decided that enough was enough.
I am now happily remarried, living in an entirely new city; away from everything I once knew. My husband and I decided to just pack up and move ourselves and my children on a whim. Great right? Except that, along with the move, came so many changes and OH the struggles!
My children, now 9 and 10, are in school and facing what seems to be one obstacle after another.
There was unexpected job loss. My grandmother sold her home, moving seven hours away to be near my dad. Loved ones have passed away. I began teaching preschool and gained some friends; then lost some. The list goes on!
The chaos had become so overwhelming that all I could do was cry. I cried and complained, lost more sleep and found myself screaming at my kids constantly. I’d had enough. I needed calm. Order. I needed…LESS.
After a lot of trial by error, in addition to research and prayer; I finally had my “OOOHHH” moment. It was the moment I had realized my own approach to life, had been all wrong: the changes that needed to be made had to include some real effort from myself.
This is when that old “Verse of the Week” reared it’s head once again.
I often prayed for God to help me get through it all, but I just wanted to sit back and wait for it. That hadn’t gotten me anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I still whole heartedly believe that having faith in our loving God can do wonders; but in reality, faith alone, is not always enough.
Let Me Explain…
James 2:14 (ESV) reads: “What good is it, my brother, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”
This too, is a great passage to put into perspective. Bear with me for a moment. Now, add that in with James 2:17. Got your attention yet? It still grasps my own attention, when I think about all my life up to this point.
Reading further, James 2:18-20 “but someone will say, ‘you have faith and I have works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe-and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is dead?” And again, James 2:24 & 26: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (26) For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
Time for Change
After a lot of reading and reflection, it dawned on me, that for any changes to occur, I had to start making some changes in myself. I had to really want the change, then along with prayer, I need to work for it.
My God and His word, are my sold inspiration to write for others, so here we are. My own effort, plus my prayers, poured in to; simplifying daily tasks, taking on less and making the necessary changes to invite the peace and joy God has ready for me, into my life.
Now, whether you’re Christian or not, every person has a faith of some sort. Faith either in God, something else, or even just fate. The problem is, that if you’re sitting around waiting for some magical change to occur and eliminate the chaos and stress in your life, you’re wasting your time. It is NEVER gonna happen. YOU must put forth the effort to assist in changes being made.
My inspiration for creating this blog, stems from this verse and my passion to help inspire others. I hope to motivate others while continuously working toward making changes to my own life; embracing opportunities for myself and others to find “The Simple Joys of Less”. We can each learn to allow ourselves to: take on less, want less, spend less and so on. Who knows, maybe, just maybe, we can keep our faith from being made useless by our lack of works.