Mastering This Faith Thing It’s Coming Along

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I have a few friends that have gotten me into scrapbooking and making greeting cards. I have never considered myself very artistic. I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this. My husband helped me along by buying equipment and supplies I needed or should say wanted to help me be successful. 
One of my friends showed me a technique called distressing. It’s taking a piece of paper and moving ink in a circular motion to make it look like an old piece of paper. I thought that was something I’d like to try. After several attempts I gave up. I really figured I did not have the talent for distressing paper or my projects. 
During the last year or so I began to take tutorials on line for different areas that I have struggled with. Many of them I watched several time before I felt brave enough to tackle the project. I would get on Pinterest and find greeting cards I liked, downloaded them or saved them thinking I would like to try and make them. Recently, I decided it was time to get those cards pulled up and see if I could make some of them. Now I must admit they don’t look as professional as the ones on the computer, but the more I make them the better they look. As I began to make them I added my own special touches and made them my own creations. I showed them to my daughter and she fell in love with many of them.
One night I had an urgency to try my luck at distressing again. Really? Really, you want to try this again after failing before? I got on line and watched a couple of videos. I began to get confidence and think I can do this. After dinner one evening I went into my office/craft area and decided to try it again. I realized I could do it. I did a couple of projects showed them to my husband who loved them. I gained confidence and began think to myself I’ve got this I can do it!
So what changed? First, I realized I was putting too much pressure on the paper and myself. I was trying too hard to accomplish such an easy task. I just needed to add the right pressure to my distressing tool. Then I realized I wasn’t going in the right direction. You need to go into a circular motion to get it to turn out like you want it. I just couldn’t get the circular motion right, but after some practice a whole lot of patience and timing I got the circular motion just right. Finally, I studied what I wanted to learn and figured out what I was doing wrong. I listened and watched others as they shared with me how to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. Being attentive to others and watching closely and listening made all the difference in the world. Then I practiced and practiced until I got it right, not getting frustrated, or giving up, but putting into practice what I learned. 
As I was getting all of this down, I suddenly realized that is the same way with my faith. I often put too much pressure on myself to get it all right. I want to be able to accomplish some easy task that God has called me too, but I haven’t been willing to put in the work I needed to be able to accomplish it. 
I have skipped the part of watching others, listening to God and practicing what I have learned. I have often found I am going in the wrong direction. Then I get frustrated because I have failed. 
Just like I was given the tools needed to be able to master distressing, I have been given the tools to master this faith thing, but I have to be willing to do some work before I can become a master. I need to read and study God’s word, I need to listen and watch others and follow their example and I need to put into practice what I read and study. Getting it right won’t be an overnight thing it will take some time. 
God gives us the example of a runner running a race in the Bible, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25” Just as a runner goes into strict training to master the race I must train to be able to master those skills God needs for me to master to not only run this race called life, but master it as well. 
Is there a skill you want to master? Are you struggling in a certain area? God has given us tool to use, it’s up to us to use them. We can’t skip ahead, or leave out one of the steps, it takes studying, reading, following other’s examples, listening and watching to be successful. 
And while I may have accomplished this task there is still more to learn and accomplish, but following God’s advice I may just one day accomplish another skill. 
Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to read and study your Word. Thank you for bringing people in my life that I can listen to and watch and follow by example. Help me never to get discouraged, but know I must practice what I study. Guide me as I learn each new skill and task you have for me. Amen
I have a few friends that have gotten me into scrapbooking and making greeting cards. I have never considered myself very artistic. I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this. My husband helped me along by buying equipment and supplies I needed or should say wanted to help me be successful. 
One of my friends showed me a technique called distressing. It’s taking a piece of paper and moving ink in a circular motion to make it look like an old piece of paper. I thought that was something I’d like to try. After several attempts I gave up. I really figured I did not have the talent for distressing paper or my projects. 
During the last year or so I began to take tutorials on line for different areas that I have struggled with. Many of them I watched several time before I felt brave enough to tackle the project. I would get on Pinterest and find greeting cards I liked, downloaded them or saved them thinking I would like to try and make them. Recently, I decided it was time to get those cards pulled up and see if I could make some of them. Now I must admit they don’t look as professional as the ones on the computer, but the more I make them the better they look. As I began to make them I added my own special touches and made them my own creations. I showed them to my daughter and she fell in love with many of them.
One night I had an urgency to try my luck at distressing again. Really? Really, you want to try this again after failing before? I got on line and watched a couple of videos. I began to get confidence and think I can do this. After dinner one evening I went into my office/craft area and decided to try it again. I realized I could do it. I did a couple of projects showed them to my husband who loved them. I gained confidence and began think to myself I’ve got this I can do it!
So what changed? First, I realized I was putting too much pressure on the paper and myself. I was trying too hard to accomplish such an easy task. I just needed to add the right pressure to my distressing tool. Then I realized I wasn’t going in the right direction. You need to go into a circular motion to get it to turn out like you want it. I just couldn’t get the circular motion right, but after some practice a whole lot of patience and timing I got the circular motion just right. Finally, I studied what I wanted to learn and figured out what I was doing wrong. I listened and watched others as they shared with me how to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. Being attentive to others and watching closely and listening made all the difference in the world. Then I practiced and practiced until I got it right, not getting frustrated, or giving up, but putting into practice what I learned. 
As I was getting all of this down, I suddenly realized that is the same way with my faith. I often put too much pressure on myself to get it all right. I want to be able to accomplish some easy task that God has called me too, but I haven’t been willing to put in the work I needed to be able to accomplish it. 
I have skipped the part of watching others, listening to God and practicing what I have learned. I have often found I am going in the wrong direction. Then I get frustrated because I have failed. 
Just like I was given the tools needed to be able to master distressing, I have been given the tools to master this faith thing, but I have to be willing to do some work before I can become a master. I need to read and study God’s word, I need to listen and watch others and follow their example and I need to put into practice what I read and study. Getting it right won’t be an overnight thing it will take some time. 
God gives us the example of a runner running a race in the Bible, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25” Just as a runner goes into strict training to master the race I must train to be able to master those skills God needs for me to master to not only run this race called life, but master it as well. 
Is there a skill you want to master? Are you struggling in a certain area? God has given us tool to use, it’s up to us to use them. We can’t skip ahead, or leave out one of the steps, it takes studying, reading, following other’s examples, listening and watching to be successful. 
And while I may have accomplished this task there is still more to learn and accomplish, but following God’s advice I may just one day accomplish another skill. 
Dear God, thank you for the opportunity to read and study your Word. Thank you for bringing people in my life that I can listen to and watch and follow by example. Help me never to get discouraged, but know I must practice what I study. Guide me as I learn each new skill and task you have for me. Amen
 v
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