Procrastination – Fear Paralyzes, Praise Releases

Being praised in the process, not at the end of it all, is important.  God praises our process so that we walk in hope despite our fears that try to paralyze us, causing us to procrastinate. It’s important for us to know that we are not defined by the outcome of the process but the process itself frames our life of creativity. The world demands that we perform, often holding back any praise until they see the final product. They define us by the product which goes to reason since the current mantra is that you are only as ‘good’ as your last book, your last cd, your last whatever. That’s a horrible way to live.

imitationquotesIf you live like that you fall into a performance mode (or even worse, depression and discouragement), defining yourself by what you do instead of who you are in the journey of life. Procrastination thrives on fear, perfectionism, doubt, self-debasement, and more. It is that deep inner voice that whispers to us, paralyzing us in process.

If we, as human beings, as parents, as leaders, would seek to praise people during the process, that would open up a well of creativity within people who are being blocked by fear. Who knows what could come forth if many were challenged to create and not produce? I am convinced it is praising in the process of the journey that moves us forward.

I am not talking about trite clichés spoken without heart. You know, where there is a current of being positive that is nothing more than words that are shallow, without meaning. “You can do it” or “Go for it” or “You’re the best.” These are shallow words at best, generic in form and tone.

I am talking about getting connected with people in their process, their journey, extending words of encouragement along the way. Words that are of the Spirit, filled with life and with truth. When procrastination hits, words of life come forth speaking right into the person on their journey. Words that uplift, encourage, challenge and even discipline and confront, all covered in love. That is authentic Christianity and that requires true leadership. I want to see that anointing move in me more and more each day.

quotes-on-adventure-2Creating involves risk and procrastination keeps one paralyzed in the fear of the moment. Creativity moves past procrastination and even thrives on mistakes in the process. Creativity involves moving in the now while focusing on the future and what can be and not on the bottom line for profit. (Have you noticed how we do this quite often in Christianity? ARGH!!!) Creativity involves leaving any safety zone to find out who we can be, our authentic selves. Procrastination keeps us tethered to a safety zone. In that place, we live our lives not really living, jut going through the motions.

My kids are in their 30’s. I learn a lot from them. They think differently than me. I love that. That’s a good thing. One phrase I will NOT let pass my lips – “Back in the day…” I don’t want to live back in the day but in the now. We need each other, desperately.

In the heart of those under 35, (under 40?) I sense a desire to authenticate their lives through their own inner passions, to be whom they are created to be. That is where I come into the picture. My heart and the heart of Rives of Eden has always been to cultivate creativity among the generations. There is this anointing in me to shepherd the creative. Let’s see how this blog will turn in this focus.

So, have a wonderful Thanksgiving AND stop procrastinating – allow God to praise you in the process – how beautifully formed you are in Christ. How glorious your life can be when you put all trust in Him. He knows you and loves you through and through.

Feel free to comment okay? I want to encourage all creatives to come forth to be who God has called them to be. That’s you and YES you are creative in Christ. As Christians, the creator God breathed His life into our lives and that makes us creative in so many different ways. So, write, paint, draw up that business plan, administrate, teach…do what beats in your heart. I am here to be part of the journey and speak into your process…with praise.

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nIn Christ

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.

Procrastination – Go! Out! Be Gone!

What if I flyTo procrastinate or not to procrastinate? In the midst of this thought, I discovered that the journey to find out why I procrastinate led me into times of procrastination because I did not want to think about it. Did you follow that?

All kidding aside, I prayed for years about the reasons why I procrastinate at times. I read great articles, awesome blogs and even Googled questions about procrastination. I prayed about it for a long time and yet I could not figure out what is this thing, this root, in me that avoids doing some things that I know I should do.

I’m the type of person where people can tell me what they know, try to help me, and yet, I have to search it out myself and get that inner witness that says, “I get it.”

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing something or thinking something through because of an inner struggle which blocks our forward movement. It led to frustration and tension within me. In me, it was being driven forward by a fear of failure and also a fear of success. Doomed to fail or impeccable perfection. Both are not great options.  I knew this, yet I still procrastinated. I wanted answers. When I want answers I go to God. Prayer brings life-changing revelation, which anchors my soul in truth and that brings freedom.

So, today I have here to say that as far as procrastination and me, “I get it.” And as far as I am concerned, I now actually see some of the ‘why’s’ – why I do it, for what reason? Hope what I am about to write helps you.

One day, quietly sitting, unable to start writing or studying, I procrastinated for hours. The TV called to me from the other room. “Come on, just watch one episode of Survivor….you can do it. It’ll help you get going. Or how about Dr. Phil? That may help you see others are worse off than you.” I wish I were kidding but it’s true.

I was so sick of myself in the midst of a complete waste of time that I simply tuned everything out and began to worship, explaining to the Lord how sick I was of my life and how it was going. I cried out, “What is this? Why do I procrastinate?”

I heard this:

 “Because you were never praised in the process.”

breaking chainsThose words shot through me. They rearranged something in me. In a moment of time, revelation helped me supernaturally see and know what I could not have figured out in my own wisdom through days of reading self-help articles OR trying to force myself to not procrastinate. There is a root to all our problems and that root is not external. It is IN US.

My dad was a perfectionist who rarely praised. He loved me beyond measure but just did not verbally praise, until absolutely necessary OR at the last moment when all was done and I proved myself in some measure to deserve his praise. He never praised in the process, the journey in which I tried different things (art, music, writing).

It is so important to praise in the process. We all need to get a bit of affirmation in the process, the journey, when we wonder, question or ask – “Am I good enough? Is this okay? Am I okay?”

Love needs to speak in the journey of our imperfection so that we keep going, believing that we have value, whether what we do succeeds or we simply let it go. I know that my father could not praise in the process because perfection drove his own parents to withhold words of love. He gave what He could give. I know that now. Most important, I now see something so vital to my well-being.

God in Christ with Holy Spirit ALWAYS praises me in the process. Procrastination paralyzed me in the moment. At times, I was unable to walk forward for fear of getting it wrong, failing myself and others, being rejected, feeling less than, etc. I started and stopped many things, some having no follow through in my life for fear of failure. I needed someone to praise me in the process. My wonderful husband does that but there are times when I could not receive from him. Why? The root in me from years past kept me entangled in an old wound. How to get past this? See it, own it, forgive and move on in God’s grace, trusting Him to lead you in a new way.

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God––you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration––what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day (Psalms 139:13-16 Message)

Jesus praises us in the process. He knows that in our weakness He is strong and in our imperfection He is perfect. He is not waiting for us to get better, be better – we can’t. My life is lived in Christ – He is my life. I live out of that reality now, not procrastinating anymore out of fear.

Green DoorThis revelation is so important to me. It is like a small door, seemingly insignificant to look at, but once I step through it, I stand in a broad place of acceptance of my journey, along with its ups and downs.

Praise in the process of doing affirms our being – we are beautifully and wonderful made in Christ. Praise in the process helps us keep creating and finding out who we really our.

I believe I will write one more blog post on this before Thanksgiving for all of you and for me.

(My secret confession: I am so in process. Do you realize I was going to wait until next week to write this blog? That is too funny and shows you how procrastination will still try to get its foot in the door. But, I got the victory.

DebraIn Christ,

Rivers of Eden Ministry would love to speak at your next conference, home group of gathering. Contact me on our Contact Page. Get to know me on Twitter, and by going to Our Timeline of Life.