February 28, 2011

Overwhelmed

Posted in Christianity at 7:51 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Busy schedules plague our society. When we’re overburdened by a busy schedule, we don’t have enough time to devote to our families, our friends, and our Lord. Much of the time, the activities we engage in revolve around family and church, but we spend so much time running from one activity to another that we don’t actually have any time to spend with those who mean the most to us. We pick the kids up from one activity and then drop them off at the next with no time to connect in between. Church activities become rote and obligatory; we do them because we feel we have to or because we think it looks good to others, not because we love the Lord and want to demonstrate our love for him through these activities. Read the rest of this entry »

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February 22, 2011

Imperfect

Posted in Christianity at 9:26 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (Prov. 29:23)

All of my life, I’ve considered myself a perfectionist. Those closest to me feel this way as well. But what I once considered a good characteristic because it kept me focused and helped me know what I wanted out of life, I now see as a major stumbling block: as a perfectionist, I become controlling, demanding, and do not work well with others. Most people don’t like working with someone who wants to remain in control all of the time and would rather do the job herself because she’s so particular about the outcome. It’s not that I think I can do it better – I really don’t – but since I don’t know when to let go, I often come across as having a superior attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

February 18, 2011

Purely Selfish

Posted in Christianity at 10:15 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (Phil. 2:3)

Recently, a good friend gently pointed out to me that some of the things that I had been doing to kindly nudge others out of their comfort zones was, well, not really so kind after all. To those people, it felt more like being pushed off a cliff, and while my friend chose her words carefully, she made it clear that I needed to respect the boundaries of others because I would want to have my boundaries respected in return. Read the rest of this entry »

February 14, 2011

Love Is…

Posted in Christianity at 10:22 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13: 4-7)

On Valentine’s Day, people’s thoughts turn to candy, roses, and of course, love. But love means different things to different people. Do you show love to your significant other by buying expensive presents or with flowery words? Do you show love by cooking his favorite meal or doing the dishes so that she won’t have to? Or over time, have these acts of love become acts of obligation? Read the rest of this entry »

February 11, 2011

Overcoming Fear

Posted in Christianity at 10:46 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

As a child, I was very shy and timid. I was more comfortable with a good book than I was with people. My parents didn’t try to force me to talk to people, but they did encourage me to make friends and to be involved in school and church activities. As I got older, I slowly came out of my shell, only to retreat again when circumstances became uncertain. As a teenager, I finally began to identify with my peers enough that one of my friends asked me, “When did you start talking so much?” Read the rest of this entry »

February 7, 2011

Now That’s Dedication

Posted in Christianity at 6:56 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

“Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you.” (Psalm 86:2)

Gathering up his hockey gear, my brother loaded his car and prepared to drive to Oklahoma City to coach the youth hockey team that evening after he got home from work. He was a teacher and coach in a public school during the day, but several evenings each week, he volunteered to coach a league of junior high school athletes who needed guidance and leadership. He drove two hours one way in order to coach these athletes and make sure they received the instruction in hockey that they needed. Because of the athletes’ hard work and my brother’s dedication to his team, the team rallied to win the championship the first year he coached them. Read the rest of this entry »

February 4, 2011

Friendship That Endures

Posted in Christianity at 10:23 pm by Staci Hart Mauney

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Psalm 17:17)

I waved to my friend across the crowded room and made my way over to her. We hadn’t seen each other in several years, but we began visiting as though it had only been a few weeks. We had grown up together, attending the same church, elementary and high school, and college before we each went our separate ways and began growing apart. Now, we only see each other sporadically. Read the rest of this entry »