Written By: Tanya Glanzman
Why is it that that word immediately causes a reflexive “ugh” to rise within me? It seems to have the same impact as words like discipline, self-control...trust.
Because instantly, I’m reminded of all the of the places I am currently not consistent. I’ll spare you the long list, but if I were a bettin’ woman, I’d bet we had some similarities if we compared lists.
And it’s not like they are new things, or even hard things. In fact, they are the same things I’ve been working on for years…and years. And that can cause me to feel frustrated with myself.
So quickly I can find myself stuck in the mental loop of self-abasement. What in the heck is wrong with you? Why can’t you get your act together? What is your issue with this one thing that keeps you from being consistent in this one area?
The thing is, it’s never just one area or one thing that I struggle with. I’m actually usually pretty good at doing one thing consistently, consistently. In fact, I’m wired in a way that when I get my mind focused on one thing, I work at it 150%. It tends to consume my time, my energy, my ability. All that I am can get so consumed with that one thing and usually, in this way, I can be pretty successful in that one thing. For a time.
This issue, however, is that in the pouring out of all my time and energy into that one thing, all of the other things, the really important things of life, tend to fall to the sidelines.
For years I searched for that just right eating plan to help me be the me I wanted to be. I would invest hours of my time researching and learning. I would think about it, talk about it and post about it. I joined groups and found friends on the same journey. I’m an “all in” kind of girl and each time I started ALL IN. Most of my time and focus would be placed upon the current, at the time, plan.
And then slowly…a little at a time, I would run out of steam. I could only maintain that level of intensity for so long before I fizzled out. And before I knew it, I just wasn’t doing it anymore. It was too hard, too much to juggle with all the other pieces of life that demanded pieces of me. The other things of life began to crowd their way back onto the field.
I ran a marathon, once. At 35 I decided that if I didn’t do it then, I never would. I wanted that 26.2 sticker for the back of my car so bad I could taste it.
I trained. Hard. In the cold, in the heat, hour after hour of my feet hitting the pavement with an irritatingly (especially at 4am) cheerful accountability partner 11 years my junior.
For a season, this goal held all my focus. I thought about running, talked about running, ran and then ate chocolate ice cream because, after all, I ran, I deserved it. And just a side note, my eating well consistency and my running consistency didn’t coincide in the same season.
I’m glad I ran that marathon 10 years ago. I’m not sure where the sticker that was so important to me at that time went, but I have the medal and the photo (somewhere…I’m sure of it.) I haven’t really run since. And please, if I ever tell you I’m thinking about training for another marathon just mention mile 22 and port-o-potties and you will have loved me well.
Here’s what I’ve learned. Balance is key. Consistency in BALANCE. Learning to balance all of these beautiful people and responsibilities and all that contains life in my world. Learning to be consistent in allowing Him, the very one who blessed me with this body, this mind and all I have the privilege and responsibility to love and love well to lead me in my daily priorities.
Consistency in yielding every single part of myself to Him, daily, to lead me in the way that I should go. To make my priority list for me. To gently nudge, to quietly whisper and to help me have the self-control I need to place His priorities as my own.
I’ve learned that He cares so much less about all of the things that I tend to make so important. The goals and dreams that I have elevated within my own heart and given so much of myself to. He has revealed to me in this season that at His very core what He cares about most are people.
Loving with His love and being Jesus with skin on to those around me. At home, at work, at the grocery store, in traffic.
As I continuously endeavor to find balance in all things, my personal prayer is that I will consistently rest in His love for me and will consistently yield to that love in a way that allows me to consistently demonstrate His love to others.
There is no goal, dream or desire more worthy of all of me. Consistently.
Let’s pray together,
Father, ABBA. Thank you for your unwavering, never ending, faithful and enduring love for me. Help me to balance well all of these beautiful parts of this life that you have given me in a way that bring glory and honor to you. Help me Father to hold your heart and to see others and myself the way that you do. Help me to consistently love like you love and to place the priority of people and their hearts above any and all priorities that my own human heart would try to elevate above. Help me Father to always let my ONE THING, my most important thing, to never fail to simply be sitting at your feet.
Written By: Olivia Caldwell
I know that I naturally struggle with consistency but just in case, I googled the definition of consistency…for science. Here’s what I found:
“The quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way, or of always happening in a similar way.“ (Cambridge Dictionary)
While I do generally struggle with consistency, I want to share with you a testimony: for the last 22 days, I have been able to be very consistent. Maybe the most consistent I have ever been. And more than consistent, I’ve been living free. I mean, this has just been an amazing start to the new year and I’m praying for a stretch that is much, much longer than 22 days!
(Before you get any ideas, consistency to me doesn’t mean like, living by a schedule or adhering to some set structure or always having everything just so or whatever pops into your brain when you think of what it would look like for someone to live consistently. I mean, I do have a planner, but I didn’t even use it last week, so, that’s where I stand there.)
Towards the end of last year, I got to a point where I knew I could not go on living the way I was living anymore. I knew the things I needed to lay down and I wanted to, but it was not enough for me to simply recognize them and to desire to leave them behind. And that was real clear, because it was almost like I could not stop. I was living Paul’s words: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)
It was so bad. I was so desperate. I was crying out for the Lord to help me, to set me free!
On January 1, I started fasting. I didn’t really think about it or plan anything, I just did it because I knew that I needed real help, real transformation- and I needed to draw near to Jesus and to deny my flesh.
So, here’s what I think I really mean when I say that I’ve been killing it at consistency lately:
I have consistently been weak.
I have consistently been desperate.
I have consistently been longing for more than I have been settling for.
I have consistently been running to Jesus.
I have consistently been crying out for the Holy Spirit to teach me, to lead me, to transform me, to sanctify me, to set me free.
And He has consistently done just that.
Day by day, I am reaching for the Word more than I am scrolling on my phone. I am hearing His voice instead of hearing a bunch of distracting noise. He is leading my decisions, big and small, more and more and more.
I find myself wanting to slip back into my old ways every now and then, of course, but mostly I am just full. So full. This is what I have desired and prayed for, for so long.
There’s still a part of me that feels like maybe it’s not enough to say to you, hey, if you’re struggling, the answer is Jesus. Like I should leave you with some solid tips or advice or something more, but more than anything, I just want you to know that He is more than enough.
He really is.
If you find yourself consistently struggling, consistently not enough, consistently weak and weary and desperate- good. You’re excelling in consistency.
If you’re consistently coming to the end of yourself and if you’re consistently crying out to the Lord for help and for deliverance- good. You’re excelling in consistency.
If it’s been days and weeks and months and years, even, that you have consistently been desperate for something to give, to see the Lord move- that’s good, friend. Yes, it is. You’re excelling in consistency.
Come to your Savior who is consistently present and near and interceding on your behalf. Keep drawing near again and again and again. Keep asking and asking and asking. Keep believing that in the place of your consistent weakness, He is consistently your strength. Keep trusting that beyond the consistent circumstances of nothing changing, He is consistently working and moving in about a million ways you can’t yet see.
I feel that someone needs to hear today and take to heart that one day you will see. And you will not change one bit of your waiting and wailing and wondering because you will have seen and come to know so much of Jesus through your situation.
Lord Jesus, we praise You for who You are. We thank You that You are everything, all that we need. You are more than enough. I ask that You strengthen the woman reading this article today. Would You overwhelm her with Your presence right now with Your sweet Spirit? I ask that You speak to her and lead her, that You enable her to live by Your Spirit consistently, that You would show her what it looks like to die to herself in that area of struggle and fleshly living and replace that with real freedom that comes from Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Written by: Angie Reese
When it comes to consistency, I am NOT your gal. I struggle with being consistent in most areas in my life. Dieting - nope. Exercise - nope. Even reading my Bible - it’s a struggle. I am so bad at this that when I shared that I was writing about consistency, a few people in my life actually laughed. Don’t worry, it didn’t hurt my feelings.
But I have an excellent example of consistency in my life. My husband is a rock star at this. If he finds it important enough to put it on his habit tracker, it gets done. I am amazed at his ability to do this. He reads his Bible daily, does a devotional, exercises, and practices a foreign language. Every. Day. For like, over 1,000 days in a row on some of that! It’s quite amazing.
So on one hand you have me - I don’t string more than a few days of consistency together. And on the other hand you have my husband - who doesn’t miss a day. There is a saying that goes “it takes all kinds” and I guess that is true in this case. My wise little sister even said “God calls people to be the message when they’re “not right for the job” all the time.” And she is right. So here I am.
Consistency is not one of those subjects that is talked about much when it comes to the Bible outside of us reading it for growth and intimacy with God. Both of those things are very important. But the thing that jumped straight into my head was the verse in Hebrews 13:8 that states,
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (NIV)
This verse brings me peace in such a deep place. In this world that is ever-changing, Jesus is the same. Right now the price of groceries isn’t the same from one week to the next (hello eggs!), but HE is the same. Gas prices shift from hour to hour it seems, but HE is the same. I put off reading my Bible, but HE is the same. Just waiting for me. Just waiting for me to come and sit by His side and commune with Him. And He isn’t doing so with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face because it has been a few days since I cracked open my Bible. Rather, he is waiting patiently and calling to me like a Father that wants to see their child. Arms open and expectant.
So, when your diet fails - AGAIN - or you forget to get that snack for your child’s classroom, your workout gets put on the backburner, or you haven’t read your Bible in a few days, take a deep breath, remember that Jesus offers a clean slate policy and doesn’t keep a record of wrong, and make time for Him. Oh, and get those other things done too. Alarms help I hear.
Let me pray for us.
Jesus, thanks for being the loving friend that you are. Thank you for forgiving me when I mess up. Help me and my fellow sisters to be more consistent with everything, but especially spending time with you. Thank you for being constant and never changing. Your dependability is a rock in our lives. We love you.
written by: Lyndsay Terry
Consistency. In preparing for this article I started to think about my life and where I was consistent. I thought…and thought…and kept thinking…and then felt pretty poorly about myself. Am I consistent in my workplace? Mostly…sometimes. Am I consistent with our housekeeping? Ehhhhhh that’s a no. Am I consistent with our children? I honestly try to be but I’m no expert on that. Am I consistent with the Lord? If I’m totally honest, not always there either.
My yes isn’t ALWAYS my yes and my no isn’t ALWAYS my no. How do I write an article to help women understand and live in a space of consistency when I’m no good at it?
I had to laugh…and then shed a tear or two. There are other people far more qualified to write on this than I am. Far more eloquent. Far more experienced. Far more…consistent. But the Lord worked it out for me to write on this topic. Truly He did because I wouldn’t have picked me. I signed up for this week before I knew what our topic was this month.
What I CAN speak to you about is…I know. I get it. This is hard in so many areas of our lives. We are all going 100 miles an hour trying to please our bosses, our families, the Lord, and even ourselves. We fill up our schedules with really important stuff and then what? We are too tired to stay consistent. We are so busy that we run out of steam and we Just. Can’t. Even.
The advice I feel the Lord giving me for myself, first, and then for you, sweet sister, is this… He is inviting us to SLOW DOWN. Get into His river and flow with His rhythm. He isn’t so busy and fast-paced all the time. There are seasons, yes, but we aren’t meant to sustain those seasons indefinitely. We can’t stay consistent in making time for Jesus, one on one time with our babies, heart-to-heart time with our spouse, giving quality work in the office, and taking care of the home and things God has gifted to us if we are constantly going and never resting and restoring.
Slow down, sis. I’m in a season of finding out just how to do that. How do we do that?
I don’t have the answer but I know that my kids don’t need to be in every sport, I don’t need to say yes to every extra opportunity at work, I shouldn’t have something going every night of the week, I should have regular date nights with my husband, my kids should have fun moments with their mom everyday - no matter how big or small - they deserve the best of me, and I should wake up with Jesus everyday…my morning (or bedtime) should be spent unwinding with the Lord and getting into His river, asking what HIS agenda is for the day.
If we want to be consistent, we need to get into the River and flow with the Lord’s rhythm. Slow down.
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