17-Day Challenge: DAY 2

DAY 2: July 31

1. Limit e-mail and blogging time to 1.5 hours/day – maxThis isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. BUT MY SUEBUTTNUTT IS BACK FROM CHINA TODAY AND I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE HER AND HUG HER AND SQUEEZE HER! 

2. Blog every day. 

3. Finish reading Worship: Rediscovering the Missing Jewelno comment.

4. Make dinner for the family every night. 😦 sad face. 

5. Do something new every day. I finished my time capsule activity! It was really fun and I am looking forward to opening it and seeing how much I’ve changed in three years. Some of the questions really got me thinking:

“What are you most worried about?

What is one amazing thing you expect to do in the coming year?

What were the top 3 accomplishments from the last year?

What are your life goals at the moment?   Did you make any progress on them?

What are your wishes for the upcoming year?

What do you think you will be doing this time next year?  In 5 and 10 years from now?

What do you think will change about you over the next year?  How do you want to grow?

Where will you be living next year?  In 5 and 10 years from now?

What is one piece advice would you give your future self?

What is your purpose in life?”

 As I was coming up with answers to the questions above, I was struck by how selfishly I’ve been living this summer as well as the past school year. My actions, goals, and lifestyle have been almost completely motivated by desires to protect myself, pursue comfort, and chase after things I believe will make me most happy. I dedicated nearly all my time, effort, and emotions into figuring out how to gain others’ approval.

I work hard, study hard, and say the “right” things in order to meet the “right” people so that I can one day achieve my dream job and live a comfortable, self-sufficient life. I do everything I can to garner others’ approval and admiration. Many times within the past twelve months, I’ve gotten so angry whenever something or somebody got in my way and stopped me from obtaining what I wanted for myself.

In the end, it all boils down to fear. Fear of people – that they would judge me, pick out the flaws in me, and look down upon me for things I did or failed to do. Fear that I will be treated like a nobody unless I fight my way into a position of power and recognition. Fear that God is not able to fulfill my every need so I chase after materialism in order to find security.

This isn’t the first time I’ve recognized the fears that drive my actions. In fact, I’ve known about my insecurities for a long time. I’ve acknowledged that those fears are lies; I know I do not have to believe them. I understand that gaining the world’s approval will never satisfy the deep longing in my soul that cries out to be adored by Christ my King. Deep down, I know that I will only truly be happy when look to Jesus as my source of value and identity. The gospel story tells me, over and over again, that Jesus saw me and loved me and wanted me so much that He gave up everything for me.

I know the truth. I know the lies. Why, then, do I continue to live my life as if these lies were real?

I hear Him telling me that the idols I think will make me happy will only end up making me even more miserable. And He’s right – I make myself so wretched because no matter how hard I try, I can never be good enough for the world. I complain to God about the dissonance I feel so acutely in my soul and in response, He tells me to let my fears go. Let Him take control so He can pick me up and help me to stand.

But I refuse to let Him touch me with His healing hand because I know that in doing so, He will require me to surrender up my fears and stop clinging to my deepest insecurities. I’m so afraid to let Him heal what’s broken inside of me. I can’t Him heal me because then I must give myself to Him and surrender everything.

I can’t surrender. I can’t let go. It’s too hard.

But my dear, isn’t that what you’ve always wanted? To be free from the fears that chain you down – to sit at my feet – drink from my cup – lay back against me – breath – feel my heart beat – and live?

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidty, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

5. Run every day. Distance: 1.44 miles. Duration: 13:33 min. Average pace: 9:24 min/mile.

I got a really bad cramp after the first .5 mile and really struggled to finish this run. When I got home, I collapsed on the floor and whined to Litzpitz that to date, this was my worst run in 2014.

6. Stay out of my room between the hours of 9am -9pm. Making a conscious effort to stay out of my room isn’t so hard after all! But it feels so different and so good when we’re all together and not in our respective hiding places in the house.

7. Take pictures of every single thing I eat and post it here.When my pictures finally upload, I suppose I’ll have to post a few hundred hideous photos of unattractive food to catch up on the first few days of this challenge.

8. Do the family dishes every day. I’m such a happy little boy.

9. Work on my scrapbook and finish it by August 17th. no comment. 

10. Practice piano for 2 hours each day. I did two hours yesterday! But I’m still an hour behind, thanks to Day 1.

11. Hang out with God every day for 1 hour.❤ 

12. Clean a different area of the house each day. I cleaned the game room but I asked Litzpitz if she liked how clean it was and she didn’t even notice the difference. Boohoo.

13. Memorize the Sermon on the Mount [Matt. 5-7]. Memorized just two more verses, haha.

-陳寶妍

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