Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning How to Live - My Own Sanity Manifesto

For over a month now, I have been meditating on Ann Voskamp's Sanity Manifesto, trying to live it, to absorb it, to make it my own, to let God use it in my life.  But when I fell back into a battle with that old foe, thorn in my side, anxiety, God began to work and here are some elements that I pray God will use to transform me.  These are the 15 phrases that make up my own Sanity Manifesto, the thoughts that drive me back to the throne of grace, keep my feet grounded, let my heart soar, remind me of the eternal, of the divine, of the full life that I am trying so hard to find, and of the gracious God who loves deep and constant.  These are 15 prayers of transformation and sanctification, and the next many posts will be my story, plain and simple, as I try to learn to fully live here, because it looks good on a page and it sounds good the way she clothes it all in poetic language, but to live it... to live it is hard.  To believe it is hard.  And I am so thankful for the way the Spirit moves and provides insight and precious companions to walk by my side.  Perhaps this will inspire you... I pray it does.  But if nothing else, it is teaching me to listen, to fight, to choose life and trust and daily bread.

1) Rehearse the refrain - Repeat the things you know.  Sing them over and over.  God is good and faithful.  His loving kindness endures forever.  He calls you to purpose and He will do it!
2)  Gather the Manna - It's all about DAILY bread.  Look and see what God is providing because He does and He will every single day.
3) Beloved before the first step - Before you make your first move, listen for the gentle whisper of God calling you His Beloved.  Find your center, your identity in this: you are His beloved son or daughter before you do anything.
4) Faithful today - Don't worry about tomorrow.  Be faithful in all things, especially the small things, today.  Devote yourself to prayer being watchful and thankful.
5) One at a time - Focus your attention on one thing at a time.  Build one brick at a time.  Love one person at a time.  Don't give in to the temptation to multitask.  Live one thing at a time.
6) Sing your song out loud - It's just cathartic to sing the songs you love, that refresh your soul with beauty and truth.  Sing them out loud.
7) Influence: What's flowing? - What's flowing into your life?  What's flowing out?  What influence are you having that you may not even realize?
8) Marvel in the mystery - The things of God are beyond our ability to grasp.  Mystery makes them God-things and they are good.  Marvel at it.  Let it drive you to worship.  Surrender your need for control so you might enjoy it.
9) Give it up, Give it over - Could've, should've, would've, what if, if only, am I enough?  Give it up.  Give it all over and lay it on the altar.
10) Count gifts - The little, beautiful reminders of God's love.  Set a goal for the number of gifts you'll thank God for each day.  Look for three things a day that stir your soul to thank God.  Stay thankful, stay joyful, find grace.
11) Breath prayers: Kyrie Eleison - Make "Lord have mercy" a prayer you breathe.  Center yourself on it.  Remember your need, your weakness, and let it keep you humble, for God draws near to the humble.
12) What the heart knows by heart, the heart knows - This is Ann's, not mine, but it is so crucial.  Memorize scripture, let the truth sink in, meditate on it day and night.  What the heart knows, you can stand firm on, no matter what challenges may come, or how your mind might rebel.
13) Questions sustain - Manna literally means "What is it?"  Don't strive for answers in this life.  They may never come this side of eternity.  By the grace of God, we can eat the questions, the mystery, and find nourishment for our souls.
14) Give bad days to the Redeemer - Some days are rough.  Happens.  Give them to Jesus and let Him redeem them.  It's what He does.
15) Light a candle - Feel the weight of darkness closing in?  Light a candle, remember you are the light of the world and He is the light in you and He will light your way.

No comments: