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  • Melinda K. Bowens

Stay In Or Stay Out

#BreakingTheCycle: You have to be in or out

Do you remember those summer days or good weather weekends when we were younger and would actually spend time outside? We would play all kinds of games with our friends, run around and just invent little things to do! Now, I wasn't the biggest fan of being outdoors when I was younger, but I dabbled.

But there was so shortage to our creativity...until we wanted a break to go back inside the house. And summers in the south gave (and still give) plenty of reasons to take a break inside; the most important being trying not to pass out from heat exhaustion (which is a perfectly logical concern for a 10 year old, I think). Whatever the reason for wanting to come in the house that became a game in itself. Running back and forth between outside and the house. Now, if you're familiar with any part of this story, you already know what's coming next. Yep, that's it! That moment when your mama (father, uncle, grandmother, aunt, older cousin who thought she was in charge, whoever) told us we had to pick a place to stay. We were either going to “stay in or stay out”, but we weren't going to do both. (Then insert some mildly dramatic line about us running up the electricity bill every time we open the door)

Now, we may or may not have actually been running up the electricity bill (we totally were), but whoever told us to stay in or out was on to something. We really couldn't continue to bounce in and out of the house because it honestly made a mess and was nothing short of chaotic. We had to pick something and stick to it. Which really isn't bad advice.


How many times have we found ourselves only partially committed to something? And how often are we partially committed while expecting (or at least wishing for) fully committed results?? I know that's me all the time! Because if something doesn't yield the results I want in the time that I want, I'm over it rather quickly (just being honest, don't judge my life). And if we're a little more honest, we do the same thing with caring for ourselves internally all the time.

We get so excited for to set goals to "be a better person" around the New Year and our birthdays. We get ready for the change and maturation, but lose steam when the process takes longer than three weeks (even though it took us far longer than three weeks to get like this). Once we start losing steam, we compromise elements of our commitment to change. We try to be mindful of how we feel for most of the week, but then use the weekend as a breather. Or we make the effort to have an emotional accountability partner, but only call them for the "big stuff" (just like we do God, but I digress). But ultimately, we jump in and out of the emotions’ house. And just like our moms told us before, we either have to stay in or out.


Now our parents are wise, but God dropped that same nugget of wisdom a few thousand years ago.

Such a person is double minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:8, NIV

So, if we're going to believe God for all the healing and changing that needs to happen in our hearts, we're going to have to be consistent.

Are we going to be part-time or full-time believers today? And just like our jobs, being full time always comes with more benefits.


Chat with God


When are you most likely to lose steam in the process?


Why are those times the most difficult to stay committed?


What is your one sentence prayer in this situation?


Please invite a friend to this series who you think would like to join this journey! Click here!

Get information about my new book here!

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