Wednesday, January 16, 2013

the virtue of steadiness


For Christmas, I got one of the most wonderful devotional books, A Jane Austen Devotional.
Each devotion has an excerpt from one of Jane Austen's books, followed by a devotion & verse that applies.
Plus, it is a beautiful fabric-covered book... I love it!!

One of my favorite devotions that I have read so far is called, "The Virtue of Steadiness" & the excerpt of this devotion is from Emma, which is -possibly- my favorite of Austen's books! 

"She played and sang;- and drew in almost every style; but steadiness had always been wanting; 
and in nothing had she approached the degree of excellence which she would have been glad to command..."

In this part of the book Jane Austen is talking about Emma's lack of steadiness in her life. I love the character of Emma for many reasons, but throughout the book we are reminded that Emma often fails at finishing her projects, paintings, reading lists, etc. She always seems to think & speak highly of herself in those areas, but she is always missing the follow through. She may have good intentions, but she lacks diligence. 

The author of the devotion talks about how the lack of steadiness can affect us greatly in our society today... Entertainment, social media, news, etc. are all right at our fingertips! That isn't all bad, but it does mean that there are distractions everywhere we look and that can make it hard to stay focused on what is important. Distractions can quickly lead us away from God's purposes for our lives.

That message stuck with me, because we are still in the swing of a new year, filled with fresh goals & plans!
And I know that I need daily encouragement in that area. Any goals or plans we have tend to start off easy, but they never stay that way for long, so we need perseverance. Also, it's easy to let ourselves think that doing a job with just enough effort to get by is "good enough". But it's not, because God expects our very best in all that we do. So, instead of relying on ourselves to do difficult things or even mundane tasks, we should be asking God for the abilities to accomplish them. And we should be trying our very best to stay focused on what we are doing. 

I have found over the last few years that often the greatest blessings come from reaching the end of a journey, 
even with all of it's ups & downs. And even if it doesn't end up being how we thought or hoped it would be, God still teaches us more about ourselves & about Him in those times! And that, all by itself, should make the journey worth it!

That was a message that I needed to hear! And thankfully, I have been able to apply it to my life easily because of the verse that was with the devotion... I feel like it was a perfect verse for me, right now!

Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it
may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
2 Corinthians 8:11

So, I decided to make that one of my focus verses for this year!
I plan to print it in big lettering & post it in a place that I will see everyday, until I have it memorized.
It will serve as a great reminder!

5 comments:

  1. What a wonderful book! Perfect for you and other Jane Austen fans out there!

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  2. Thank you Sarah! I needed to hear this message today....stay focused on Christ, follow through on ALL things. Yes! What a great reminder, especially through the mundane tasks of the day. As a fellow Jane Austen fan, I am super intriqued by this devotional. Fabric cover? Be still my heart! :) I'm definitely going to have to check this out.

    Thanks again! Have a great day! :)
    -Rachel

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  3. great idea! love it!

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  4. Oh my goodness, a jane austen devotional!? I LOVE this, goodness me. how special
    and cool--love it. I love that you found biblical grounds for the devotional for the day
    too...

    xo

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! I love Jane Austen - what an awesome idea for a devotional.

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