It was a blustery rainy Saturday, quite typical for where I live. It was not typical because it was one of those rare Saturdays where I had no responsibilities. No obligations for church, my ministry, my publisher, my family – – nothing had to be done! No commitments, no deadlines, nothing. It was a day I could have slept in, but sleep was illusive, so instead I wandered downstairs way earlier than normal. By doing so, I invaded my husband’s quiet time for putting the final touches on his Sunday sermon.
I quietly made my way to my usual spot on the sofa, grabbed a blanket, pushed the button for the recliner to kick back, closed my eyes and took a deep breath, and then another. It felt good to know I could just sit and breath, but at the same time I felt the exhaustion in my body. I was being quiet, so when my husband turned to speak to me, I was startled. His mornings are sacred, they’re his quiet times. However, just minutes after I sat down, he closed his laptop and turned to speak to me. He informed me he was going to his shop to “work,” which was really code for: I am going to the shop to move things around, (I mean organize tools) watch Netflix, maybe work on something and recharge while doing it. He went on to tell me he had found a series on Netflix for me to watch and I inwardly groaned. I was seriously thinking Hallmark Channel and hot cocoa sounded more my speed for the day. I didn’t want to have to pay much attention to what was on the tv.
I watched as he scrolled through the menu and he selected, “Anne with an E.” He knew I loved Anne of Green Gables and so he thought I would enjoy this series. I protested and said that nothing could beat the original, so I would rather watch something else. He insisted, put it on and left for his shop. He purposefully set the TV remote out of my reach, so I would have to get up to change it. He knows me so well (LOL).
As I sat watching the show one of the characters said something that packed a punch.
“Obligation can be a prison.” ~ Marilla Cuthbert
What?! Wait … back up the TV, did she really just say that? Yep, she sure did, and it got me thinking, a lot actually, about the difference between obligation and responsibility. About how I often do something, not because I want to or because I need to, but because I feel obligated to do so. Yes, of course there is a fine line between obligation and responsibility, but all too often, I take something that isn’t a responsibility and yet I feel obligated to make it one. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever done this in your own life?
As I continued to watch the show that day, I realized, Marilla was right, obligation can be a prison! It can be a prison of my own making, a prison I freely open the door to and put myself in and often times throw away the key. The bars of the prison of obligation are made of a strong unyielding guilt.
I should make a distinction between responsibility and obligation. My responsibilities are things that I have agreed to be accountable for accomplishing or stewarding. In making that agreement I obligate myself. The prison of obligation comes into play when I allow someone else priorities or expectations to guilt me into taking on an obligation. My integrity drives me to keep that commitment but if I had been true to myself I might have declined the obligation.
Feeling obligated to do something is a vicious cycle which I need to break free from. I need to stop and make an assessment, before saying yes, is this a responsibility I agree to own or is this a guilt driven obligation. Is this something I feel like I have to do, because it’s expected of me, but not necessarily what I should be doing or want to do?
In order to bring my best self to the table each day, I have to say yes to the best and let go of the rest. In doing so my yes becomes yes and my no becomes no.
Last weeks Top Clicked Post:
Celebrating the Labor and the Love by Michele Morin.
Michele is a master wordsmith. It matters not if it’s a book review or a regular blog post, so it is no wondering that her post from last week was the one with the most clicks. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, please check it out. Michele asks the question: “It is, therefore, possible to draw parallels between the nature of worship and the importance that hands-on housekeeping plays in the ebb and flow of a well-balanced Christian life?” Click on over after you comment and linkup below and read more about The Spiritual Discipline of Housekeeping.
Here are a few posts that caught my attention from last week:
Roseann from This Autoimmune Life had these amazingly easy to make Candy Corn Cookie Bars
Leslie from Play dates to Parties had these adorable CLEMENTINE PUMPKINS | EASY AND ADORABLE KIDS SNACKS
If you have children, and haven’t been to Leslie’s blog, you need to hop on over and check it out. Last week she linked up easy family themed costume ideas and these cute, healthy clementine pumpkins.
Again Welcome and Thank you for joining me for #TuneInThursday it is an honor to have you here!
I have had a few people ask for a badge/button to display on your blogs. I would absolutely be honored if you would display it, or link back here in some way. Thank you!
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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com
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Do you wonder if God still speaks today? Do you wonder if He would ever speak to you personally? Do you long to hear the voice of God in your life?
Have your read other books on hearing from God, but long for hands on practical application? or are you looking for ways to move you forward hearing from God?
If you answered YES to any of those questions, then I have exactly what you need. I now have an online e-course designed to equip you in understanding that God still speaks today, and He longs to speak directly to you, through His word, and others. He longs to encourage you, strengthen you and comfort you. The training on this site, is fully based on Scripture, and taken from my training manual Releasing God’s heart through Hearing His Voice.
God is speaking, Can you Hear Him?
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Several Submissions have been featured at Blessed Transgressions, an Online Magazine:
My Post: The Reluctant Encourager was featured here:
My Post #BeTheGift was featured here:
My Post “What’s in a Name?” was featured here:
My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here:
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