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I overslept my alarm. I can’t even remember hearing it go off or shutting it off.

I jumped out of bed with a start, and ran to wake up my daughter for virtual school (hello fall of 2020), to make coffee and to get ready to leave for work.

Mornings like this feel invasive. Pleasing God can feel like a chore, when that is so opposite of what’s true.

There is no time to reflect on the day before, think, sip coffee, read, pray, or write. These things are like fresh air to this introverted girl’s soul, who craves time to process life before and after experiencing it.

This is so evident to me as I am pre-reading and loving Holley Gerth’s new book, The Powerful Purpose of Introverts. There is a quote she shares that is such a true representation of how I feel. “Our introvert brains release feel-good chemicals when we turn inward, focus on ideas, have meaningful conversations, and do work that matters to us.”

So mornings that are rushed, like this one, remind me of the long days with babies and toddlers and never enough “me time” or sleep.

Waking up to little ones demanding my immediate attention. Showers stopped short from the cries for mommy, with one leg shaved and not the other.

The snuggles, the messes, the endless physical care, the coos, the crying, priceless grins, short nights, scattered toys, spit out food, fights, and funny things they said, that I should have written down more of.

Now I stay up late on purpose, losing sleep, to connect with those same little people who have grown into teenagers.

It’s a different season. Pleasing God looks different now.

They act like I’m not as fun or relevant, and like they don’t really need me. That is okay, I know they do. Wink, wink. I’m the one pursuing them and that’s the way it should be if I’ve done my job well.

I remember being a teen and pushing back against my parents to gain more independence, and yet longing for them to pursue knowing this new, more grown up version of me.

Life never stays the same. Pleasing God has become more of a question I ask God about.

It’s funny how things change and how love changes us. In each season God will show us who or what to be intentional about with the people and things that matter most, how to fit in joy, and have time for the work He has called us to.

Holley Gerth writes about how her college mentor shared these wise words with her, “One day she paused and said, “Holley, the hardest choices in life aren’t between bad and good, they’re between good and best.”The Powerful Purpose of Introverts

God can balance things out and show us what to let go of and what to prioritize, if we ask Him. Pleasing God doesn’t have to be hard. Pleasing God doesn’t have to be a mystery either.

We kill ourselves when we try to do it all, instead of leaning on and listening to His voice – not the unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others.

It may not feel easy or ideal at first, but it is freeing to disrupt and adjust our schedules to reflect God’s best for the new season we are in.

As I gathered my bags to head out the door, I wondered how I could salvage my last few quiet moments of the day. The words of one of my mentors traveled across my mind as she would tell me how she often play scripture on CD in her car.

I opened the YouVersion App on my phone and clicked play before backing out of the driveway. My mind wondered in and out of what I was hearing and the traffic I was navigating, as I drove.

What stuck in my thoughts were four simple words: live to please God, or simply pleasing God.

“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more” (1 Thessalonians 4:1 NLT).

I began to think about how living in a way that pleases God is so opposite of what most people think.

Pleasing God isn’t the same as pleasing people. Thank goodness, that’s a vicious cycle that never ends well, even when the best of intentions are at play.

Pleasing God is a heart matter.

Pleasing God is about surrender, not performance.

Pleasing God is about keeping in mind His ways of living that develop good fruit in us over time. Versus our ways of living that often bring confusion, chaos, disappointment and devastation.

Living to please God permeates down to every part of our being and our days. It transforms us little by little, gaining new ground, if we let it. Pleasing God is not about being perfect or performing well.

It’s a process, not a check off list for tasks completed, or a vehicle to gain His love or approval. God already loves you more than you can imagine right now!

Pleasing God is a walk filled with the grace, love and mercy of a God that never gives up on us and is always rooting for us! The fruit of this kind of living goes beyond us and makes provision for us in unlikely places. 

So whether you’ve had a moment with God today, or not.

Whether your mornings are rushed and you have no time to yourself, or you are in a season where time is all you have.

Whether you enjoy quiet time, or music on the go.

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

Whether you are a baby in your faith walk, or a bit grown up – none of us have arrived – nor will we, on this side of heaven.

Pleasing God is a journey of surrender and bountiful fruit and love that never quits.

I pray this encourages you as much as it encourages my heart to keep living in ways that please God. 

With much love and grace,

Joelle Povolni

P.S. Let’s be honest, growing gets tough on some days. If you need a little extra encouragement I think you will enjoy this post, How To Grow With God.

Note: This post may contain an affiliate link that helps offset the cost of this blog and cost you nothing extra should you decide to make a purchase.

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