Stay the Course

1 Sep

1 Chronicles 28:20

I am way behind this week!  There have been so many things going on that it has been hard to keep up at times.  But, that is what this week’s study is all about.  Our bible study, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God,” is focusing on being able to #StickWithIt.  How fitting that my week has been full of craziness.

I shared last week of going back to school and also putting my name on the Substitute Associates list at my children’s school.  Well, this week my classes were in full swing.  I started the week off great.  I was keeping up with my bible studies; I was starting in on my homework assignments; and I started the class that I drive to our local ICN meeting place for my 3rd class.  This all was going smoothly.  I even had all my homework done before time.  Then the call came.

Yep, they called and asked me to work as a Sub at the school.  I was so excited and ready to work on Thursday!  I had absolutely no idea what I would be doing, but I was stepping out with God and just going with the flow.  The day was good.  I ended up working as a crossing guard in the morning (fun experience to get out and see many people, most of whom usually honked and waved); then I headed up to the High School to work in the Special Education room.  What an experience for me.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I just decided to go with my gut instinct as to what I would do for these kids if they were my own.  I learned lots, and then I ended the day as a crossing guard again.  Whew!  I made it through my 1st full day of work after years of being home with my children.

Friday morning rolled around and the usual was going on for morning routines.  Then another call came in, they needed me again that day.  This time there had been a mix up and I got the call at 7:00am  and needed to be at the school crossing by around 7:30am.  No problem, right?  Well, it wasn’t too bad.  My husband was home that morning, so he jumped right in to take over the kids, and even had my lunch packed for me when I got out of the shower.  I hurried around and did actually make it to the school around 7:30am.  What a miracle!  I worked the same schedule as the day before.  Having this study really changed the way my day went.  I began to look at things differently.  I began to wonder what I could do to make a difference to just one person.  Looking at what I was doing as an opportunity to honor God, right where He put me, was such an enlightening experience.

Well, after this unexpected, but welcome, change in my routine, I realized by Friday night that I was way off track in other things to do.  I had not done my questions from my bible study yet; I had not done my blogging yet; I was not ready to teach children’s sunday school class yet; and I did not have my computer work done for the church service yet.  How do proceed?  I decided to draw strength from God and #StickWithIt!

Saturday rolled around with another HOT forecast coming at us.  So I decided to just have a relaxing day and jump into what needed done.  I could have just said to skip it this week and get back around to it next week, but this was not what we were learning about.  I need to forge onward and “do the work.”  I started the questions for the study; worked on my sunday school material; read some of my homework for next week; and did the computer work for church today.  I decided to not worry so much about if all the laundry was folded and put away, or if all the stuff was picked up off the floors.  I am letting go of my expectations that I never seem to meet and just accept what works for our family.  The kids loved having a relaxing day to do what they wanted, unfortunately two of them ended up laying around on the couch with terrible head colds.

Through this study I am starting to realize that #SayingYes is freeing.  God does not expect us to do it ALL.  He just wants us to focus on what is important at the moment.  This brings to mind Mary and Martha.  Sometimes it is not important to have all the right food and have the house look just so.  It may be more about coming to Jesus as we are, mess and all, giving it up to Him.  What is really important at this moment?  The mess in our house, or the mess in our soul?  Keeping on track with our studies or blessing someone else by being there to listen and talk?  What we must keep in mind is to #SayYes to God when he asks.  I am finding out that the answers to these questions will change every time you ask them.  One day it may be time to clean the house while another day it may be to just relax and jump into God’s word for the day.  Live my life on God’s schedule.  This is not exactly what I am used to, but it is what I am striving for now!  “PalmsUp to God and let Him work in my life!  🙂

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Life is Not Fair

22 Aug

Job 2_10

I am into week 3 of the online bible study, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God.”  I will have to say that weeks 1 & 2 went more smoothly than week 3 has.  In weeks 1 & 2, I have been working on giving up control to all of my life to God.  I have been so refreshed and revived by spending more time with God!  I know that is something I had gotten away from and was amazed and how great it felt to reconnect with Him.

Now in week 3, I have hit a stumbling block.  As I have been reading along and hearing from other women, I have had this idea, more of a fantasy really,  of going deeper with God as meaning that my life will suddenly change to roses and rainbows and all the junk will just go away somehow.   Hmph!  You know what?  It is still here too!

I was going along at a positive refreshing speed, when yesterday I took a turn and landed in the mire.  It started with a phone call.  I am starting back to college, after getting my youngest of 3 kids into 2nd grade, and also decided to put my name on the Substitute List at the school to be an classroom aide or secretary.  The application process went so smoothly, and I was soon put on the list.  I did put on my application that I would be taking classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, so I would not be able to sub those mornings.  It was great, I put my #PalmsUp to God and said “Use me in this endeavor, O Lord.”  I was ready for the call from the school and to be able to go and make a difference wherever I could.  Sure enough, the call came around noon yesterday.  The lady from the school said she saw that my name got put on the Sub List, and she was ready to put me to work.  (My heart was singing Yes Lord, Yes Lord, I am ready!)  The next thing she says is she has two days  and they are a Tuesday and a Wednesday.  (Meeerrrr, crash, BOOM!)  I had to explain that I am taking classes and wouldn’t be able to work on Wednesday.  Well, she really wanted to keep the same person on both days so she would talk to me later and probably be calling me again.  😦

Why??  Why is life so unfair?  Why does it seem that when I am on a road that I feel is where God wants me, that I always seem to fail?  Yes, I immediately took this as a fail.  Satan started right to work in my head and was once again reminding me that I screwed it all up, and I will never get things right.  I know this may not seem like a huge thing to others reading this, but this seems to be a pattern lately.

Later in the day, I went to pick my oldest up from football practice.  Not a refresher for me either.  I get there to watch a little of practice before they are done, and I see the coach from last year (whom I am not real fond of) coaching all the boys.  The coaches for this year are there also, they are just standing on the sidelines and not saying anything.  I am not fond of this old coach because he seems to be concerned with only a “select” group of boys and not the whole group out there.   I am not worried about my son’s playing time or position, it just burns me when I see adults not acting like they should.  I have encountered this in other areas of life as well, and I know I always will, but IT MAKES ME MAD!  When you work with children of any age, or I guess people in general you should treat ALL of them as equals and give each of them your time, attention, and respect.  Why is life so unfair?  (off my soap box now, sorry)  To say the least, this did not make my mood any better.

As I set down yesterday evening and looked over what to blog about, no matter how hard I tried, I could not muster up the uplifting, positive, reflections to post about.  Last week my husband encouraged me to “get more personal” in my blogs.  By now, you may be cursing the man.  LOL!  I decided to look back over my highlights from chapter 4.  Immediately I saw that I had highlighted Job 2:10, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”  Well, I am sure in my positive, delusional state at the time I highlighted this, I was sure it was going to be easy to answer this question.  It actually kind of stuck in my throat.

I began to once again, tentatively, put my palms up to God.  Okay Lord, what do I need to take out of today?  I know you are in control of ALL my life and this means the yucky stuff too.  I need to let go of my negative attitudes and look for You in EVERY circumstance.  As I began to confess my negativity and release all this junk in my heart to Him, I began to feel a shift.  It was small, but I was reminded of the quote from the book states, “He must be Lord of all if He is our Lord at all.”  I went to bed and asked the Lord to take my messiness and strengthen me for tomorrow.

I awoke this morning with a breath of hope in my soul again.  Could it be the words “His mercies are new every morning” are correct?  As I began to look again at my highlights from the book, I also came across the section that reads “God is using all of your experiences, both good and bad, to develop your character to match your calling.”  Wow!  So God is using my bad day yesterday and all the good ones before that to develop me.  How cool is that?  Even my bad days can be used by God.

So, why is life unfair?  I much prefer to have the happy, positive, uplifted days of my life, but I know that we must also accept the “trouble”  along with it so that God may use it to develop us for our calling!

Quote

Radical Obedience

15 Aug

We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our life. We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss. ~ pg 45

“We need not fear what our obedience will cause to happen in our lives.  We should only fear what our disobedience will cause us to miss.”

Why are we still cautious when it comes to obeying what God says to do?

I will admit, I have only half-way thought about the great and wonderful things that will happen if I let God take control.  I mean, I want the great and wonderful things to happen, but I am so scared of being disappointed that I have been living expecting the worst a lot of the time.

Satan is doing a good job of keeping me from living the life God has for me by reminding me of all the things that can go wrong.  He reminds me of all the things that I have already failed at.  He reminds me of all the ways I do not measure up to others.  He reminds me that others may look at what I am doing and make fun of me or talk behind my back.  He reminds me I am not qualified nearly as well as someone else is to do the job.  Oh, he is good at reminding me!  This has set this fear in my life.  This is why I tend to toss aside many things that God may be calling me to do.  I can’t seem to get over all these reminders that keep replaying in my head.  (Even writing this blog, Satan is working in my head.)

Now, why do I choose to listen to Satan instead of God?  That’s it, you know.  It is a choice.  And for some reason, I choose to take the easy road.  The road I have been down before; not because I necessarily like it, just because it is familiar.  I know where this road leads.  You see, if God calls me to do a new thing, I am not sure what that will look like or even where I will end up.  Why does that scare us so much?  I am guessing that is has lots to do with my unbelief.

Unbelief.  I don’t expect God to do those great things in my life.  I don’t believe that God can take care of all the little details while I travel down His path.  I don’t believe that God would want to bless such a mess as myself.   And again I ask, why would I choose to BELIEVE Satan’s version of my life when I can choose to BELIEVE the version God has for me?  Seems like a no-brainer to me.   I have been afraid to step out into God!

Through this awesome bible study, I am learning that I am missing out on my life!  I don’t want to miss my life, I want to embrace it fully.  I want to wake up every day and choose God and all he has planned for me.  I want this abundance of joy and hope to fill my soul daily.  I want to really live!

choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15  (KJV)

#PalmsUp

8 Aug

How many times have I been missing out on the plans God had for me because they didn’t look like the ones in my head?

Wow!  I have started a new online bible study, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God,  and cannot believe what I am learning about myself.  Are we really giving control of our life to God?  I am figuring out that I think I am saying “Yes,” but it turns out that I may really be saying “That is great as long as it fits with what I have in mind. ”

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God

I set out on this journey thinking that this should be no problem for me at all.  I have been going to church, reading my bible, and talking with God almost all my life.  The first chapter of my book was about keeping my palms up and giving in to God’s control of my life.  I’ve got this, no problem.  Right?

Well, I soon noticed I was having trouble relaxing and resting.  It was because I was so busy thinking of what my life would look like when I gave up control.  I imagined all the great possibilities He has in store for me, and how I would respond when they happened.  Then I would think, well, what if He has “this” in store for me instead of “that.”  Then I would start trying to imagine how I would respond to the new scenario.  Before I knew it, I was kinda stressing out imagining how I would give up control to God!  How absurd is that??  I finally realized that this is EXACTLY what NOT giving up control to God looks like.

Why can’t I just sit back and let God have the reins?  I think, for me, that it throws me into a place where I have to admit I don’t have all the answers and I am not perfect.  I mean, I know I am not perfect, but to let the world see that?  Aren’t we as wives, mothers, women in general, supposed to have it all together?  That is why I love the part in the book that says, “You are a woman perfectly equipped to say yes to Him.  Notice that I did not say you are a perfect woman.  But if you are in the thick of living with all that life throws at you and you simply whisper yes, you are equipped.”  Awesome!

Another quote I am loving from the first chapter is “Whatever God says do, do it!”  It does not say do only the things that you agree with; it says Whatever.  Huh…  Is anyone out there as off base as I have been on this one?  Boy, I guess I have lots more to learn, but I am ready to put my palms up to God and take one step at a time, following where God leads me.