Tag Archive | spirituality

A Quiet Extrovert ~ Guest Post

I would like to introduce you to one of She Speaks Sisters and dear friend, Tracy Steel from One Degree Ministries:

Simply me… a quiet extrovert.

I think we should all become quiet extroverts… here is why:

The other day my neighbor caught me off guard when she said: “Tracy, you have a quiet and calm spirit about you.” Now at that moment, my toddlers were actually behaving, so I can see why calmness oozed from my pores. But she also used the word QUIET to describe me.

I was stunned. My mother swears I entered the world babbling. Those who know me can testify that my words are many…

Yet, as I reflected on her comment later that day, the Holy Spirit brought a specific verse to my mind:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 

~1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV (emphasis mine)

I believe that the word quiet in verse 4 often causes panic in the heart of an extrovert. So I did some digging to make sure that when Peter used the word quiet, he wasn’t implying that extroverts were ugly or unworthy! What I discovered brought me hope.

I learned that, in Greek, the word quiet carries with it the idea of self-control, trust, or meekness. It does not suggest that a person is devoid of personality or is to remain totally silent. {Whew}

Thus, beauty isn’t determined by personality type. In God’s sight, beauty is determined by the condition of one’s heart towards Him. A quiet heart is a thing of beauty because it accepts and trusts in God and His will.

Unfortunately, I can recall countless times when frustration or discontentment dominated my heart. One particular Sunday morning I barely worshipped because I was fighting the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

I was loud on the outside and loud on the inside too.

However, the more I pray and study the Bible, the more the decibel level of anxiety, anger, or frustration decreases in my heart. I praise the Holy Spirit for using my neighbor to remind me of the progress that He has made in my life. I am learning that because of the Holy Spirit:

simply me… is quiet in the depths of my heart.

Although I am not usually at a loss for words, when I am in the presence of God, I am left speechless. His presence turns chaos into quiet. 

My Prayer for you:

Extroversion: the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self.

~Webster’s Online Dictionary

I love this definition of extroversion. I did not find it in a Bible Dictionary or lexicon. However, I think it defines a holy habit for us all to develop, introverts and extroverts alike. So dear reader, my prayer is that we would develop the habit of exhibiting quiet extroversion. I pray that our quiet trust in the Lord increases. I pray that our growing extroversion causes us to be consumed with obtaining lasting fulfillment in our awesome God.

Over time, God is making us beautiful from the inside out. May His presence leave you speechless today…

 

About Tracy:

Tracy is proudly married to Chad, a pilot in the United States Air Force.  Whenever they are not being relocated, she loves to drink green tea and watch re-runs of LOST. She also enjoys chasing their two children, Jackson (3) and Katherine (1), throughout their toy-infested home.  Tracy graduated from Phoenix Seminary in 2005, and served as the Director of Student Women at Scottsdale Bible Church from 2005-2007. She is also the author of Images of His Beauty, a newly released Bible Study, for young women who struggle with self-image issues and eating disorders. You can find out more information about the study and follow her blog at www.onedegreeministries.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OneDegreeMinistries, or chat with her via twitter @tracy_steel.

I ask all my readers to keep Tracy and her family in their prayers right now.  Pray for peace, comfort and strength.  Tracy was informed by Hospice that her mother’s vitals are changing, leading them to believe she has only days left.  I have never met Tracy’s mother but this amazing woman has inspired me with her joy of the LORD through her trials.  What a legacy she leaves her entire family.

 

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Cleaning with Jesus

Can I let you in on a little secret?  I hate to clean!  Oh, I also hate to go to the grocery store and cook!  It wasn’t always this way.  Before computers, the internet and Facebook, cooking and cleaning were my hobbies.

Now I tend to put it off until there is no other choice.  Half of the problem is the lack of organization in our home.  The other half is my perfectionist tendencies.  I want the situation to be perfect before beginning to clean or organize.  Yep, still waiting for that….

For the past eight weeks I have participated in Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Study of I Used to be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer (whew that’s a mouthful!)  The study has been amazing.  I have incorporated small new habits into my days, such as not sitting anything down except where it belongs and taking an extra five minutes to straighten up a room before I leave.  Besides those two things, not much else has been accomplished.

Waking up Saturday morning with another migraine, I looked around in disgust realizing our house hadn’t been cleaned in three weeks.  Knowing some basic things need tidied I prayed “Please LORD block the pain for just thirty minutes, please!” A funny thing happened, with each area I cleaned, my migraine eased.

It was then that the LORD placed on my heart “Some of your migraines are an attack to keep your from doing the work I call you to do.  The only way to fight them is to call upon Me and do the work anyways.”  Which opened the door to a conversation with Jesus about how much I really hate cleaning.  I wanted to know “who elected me to be responsible for housecleaning?”

Moving from room to room Jesus kept speaking to me, “Don’t think of it as cleaning, think of it as prayer.  Dedicate each room as an offering of prayer for someone.  Someone who can’t clean but would give anything to do so:  a mom battling cancer, a mom with a newborn baby and no sleep, a mom with a special needs child, a wife who just lost her husband, a family losing their home, the list my daughter is endless.”

As I cleaned the fridge I told Jesus “It is so pointless to cook, I hate it!!!  Here I am a week later tossing the uneaten leftovers out.”  Jesus spoke to my soul, “Don’t despise the service of nourishing the loved ones I have blessed you with, instead as you prepare a meal for them, use this time to offer them up in prayer to Me.  Make this the time you pray for them.  Make this the time you tell Me all about your family.”

Getting on my hands and knees to mop the floors, I asked Jesus “Really, all the advancement in technology and I am still doing the old-fashioned way of mopping?”  I knew He would have words of wisdom and I wasn’t wrong.  He said “Do not despise any part of this daughter – for through this whole day you have been in contact with your Father.  You have been in contact with your Healer, your migraine is gone, right? You have also been in contact with your Personal Trainer, there is no need to spend money on a gym membership, this takes care of two needs at the same time.  See daughter, I am always providing.”

Let me just say my house sparkled, my migraine was gone, my muscles are sore and it was the best four hours of housecleaning ever!!!!  I hope this encourages you to use those things you hate as prayers to your Father.  I leave you with this reminder, from one of my favorite songs….

Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long
As you do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you,
Cause he made you,
To do
Every little thing that you do
To bring a smile to His face
Tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

Do Everything ~ Steve Curtis Chapman