Been listening to this one quite a bit lately!! Just need the reminder every so often!
Archive for June, 2013
I don’t know why, but my thoughts today were preoccupied with the “everyday blessings” in my life. I mean, there are MANY worse ways to spend a day, right?! (Actually, I should have said “yesterday” since it’s after midnight!)
My eldest has recently started a new job and she really enjoys it. Granted, there are specific tasks that don’t thrill her but overall, she likes going to work. And she’s made a good enough impression on her bosses that she has been trained to close her department. I’m very impressed by her professionalism on the job. (And she enjoys the job so much, she’s considering getting a marketing degree!)
My second and third born children both got into the colleges of their choice for the fall – number 2 is transferring from the local community college and number 3 just graduated high school. Couldn’t be prouder of the two of them!
My son decided back in December that he wanted to make Acapella choir for next year (his Junior year). He set a goal, focused on the work he needed to do and made it! Again – super proud of his hard work.
In my 40’s I have FINALLY figured out what I want to be when I grow up and a very dear friend has stepped in to help make a very big dream come true. I’m not “there” yet but the first steps have been taken and the forward progress is faster than I expected!
Hubby and I have had the chance to have some AMAZING conversations about matters of faith lately and he was an amazing source of support and encouragement as I was working my way through a rather rough patch.
My family is not perfect. My house is a bit of a mess. I probably have a bad habit or two that I need to break and a good habit or two I should pick up. I’m sure if I looked long and hard enough, I would find some things to get cranky/whiny/unpleasant about. But you know what, I much prefer ending the day with a smile on my face and an overwhelming sense of peace. So I will mull over my “boring” blessings for a few more moments before I turn in for the night.
I did something really stupid. Not stupid enough to put anyone in danger of physical harm. Just stupid. Ran ahead with a plan that wasn’t the right one for me. And boy did I pay for it.
See, I’ve had this dream for years regarding a theater company that “specializes” in small cast musicals. Basically, that means shows with 12 people or less. In the last 18 months I have found myself talking about this dream repeatedly and things had slowly started to happen that led me to believe I might actually see this dream come true.
But that has nothing to do with my act of stupidity. Well, not directly.
Due to a complete communications glitch, I assumed that hubby wanted something from that he didn’t necessarily want. Okay, it wasn’t so much a glitch as it was me assuming something and not discussing it with him so he could clarify! I ended up sending in my resume and application for a job based on that assumption, as well as pressure from others who thought they knew what was right for me.
THAT was the stupid part. Here’s the thing – doors had opened to pursue this theater dream of mine that must have been pushed open by a divine hand. After much prayer, I was convinced that God was saying, “Yep. The theater thing. That’s the direction to go.” And somewhere along the line, I started making decisions in my limited, human “wisdom” and applied for a job without God leading me to it. I forgot something very important –
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.”
Yes, I know that this was originally spoken to the nation of Israel. But I’m convicted and convinced that there is a truth here to be gleaned for me too.
Once I sent that resume and application in, things got VERY unsettled for me personally. Nightmares, moments of panic, just feeling spiritually beaten down. I vented to my wonderfully understanding hubby for a good two hours one night. I had become almost frantic due to the fact that I was praying over the situation and hearing . . . well, . . . nothing.
Hubby’s response was interesting – “Maybe God has already made it clear what he wants and he isn’t going to repeat himself because he is waiting for you to get on track.” Huh. I’ve chewed over that since he said it. I was so busy mulling it over that I completely stopped stressing over the application thing and ceased all efforts to see what, if anything, was going to happen there. And I began thinking about my dream again. And working on the dream again. Somewhere along the line, I remembered the truth of that Jeremiah passage.
Today I had the first meeting to bring my dream to life. Since then, three others have jumped on board to help make it happen and, thanks to the actions of a friend, I have another meeting for another piece of the puzzle next week. It’s moving forward faster than I expected. The lesson is kind of obvious to me – once I STOPPED trying to make something else happen, what God wanted to happen started coming together faster than I could have dreamed.
Here’s hoping I won’t forget this lesson and have to learn it AGAIN.
No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth! I’ve been caught in this weird state of contradiction where I have all kinds of things I want to say and cannot figure out how to articulate ANY of it in a way that others would understand.
But I have landed on one thing that I think needs to be shared. Be patient with me as I slip on my kid gloves and try to make sure that I don’t tread on the toes of others too harshly.
In a perfect world, the fact that I am a pastor’s wife wouldn’t have any effect on my ability to speak up in settings where the church family have gathered. The fact is, however, that every thing I say undergoes extra scrutiny. Other women in the church can speak their mind with impunity – often being downright rude – but if I speak up, I risk subjecting my husband to a chewing out! Nevertheless, I’m going to risk it and say exactly what is on my heart.
In the not too distant past, I made a comment about having four kids and a woman in my church said, “Honey, you’re married. You have five kids.” This is a woman who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ and she has no problem bashing a fellow follower simply because of his gender. I wish she was the exception but, sadly, male-bashing is far too prevalent in the church today. As a woman – and a wife who desperately wants to be respectful and loving to the man in my life – it makes me angry when a woman in the church bashes on men simply because they are men.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
How is it loving to bash on men?! (Disclaimer – there are probably men out there who bash on women but I am not a man so I do not feel called to address that issue!) Can you imagine what would have happened if there had been a couple visiting our church on the day that the woman I mentioned above made her statement?! What kind of an impression would that have made?
My husband is not perfect. Neither is yours. Guess what – you and I aren’t perfect either!!! So why don’t we stop taking shots at those we profess to love and start building them up! We might be pleasantly surprised by the results!
So if we ever spend time in one another’s presence, consider this your fair warning – I will not participate in male bashing activities. If you and I are chatting and you start trashing husbands, I will walk away and I cannot promise to excuse myself politely before I do so. I may just walk away while you are talking and offer no apology. I’m not trying to be rude, I just don’t trust myself to open my mouth!
There is a saying that keeps cruising around the social networking sites that goes something like – “Do not judge others because they sin differently than you do.” I agree with that sentiment 100%.
I’d like to add a thought of my own – Don’t get frustrated with others who are called to minister differently than you.
It seems a little silly to me that I even need to say this. I mean, it’s a concept found in scripture (I. Cor. 12:18-19 to be exact!)-
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?
This passage contains pretty specific examples of just how important each part of the body is. I mean, you wouldn’t try to hear with your eyeball or taste with your ear would you?
So why do we get frustrated when others aren’t passionate about the same ministries we are passionate about?! Imagine a church in which every single member is over-the-top excited about children’s ministry. I would bet that the VBS program would be the best ever and that the Sunday School classes would be the most exciting place to be. But what would that do to all the other parts of church life? Ministering to shut-ins? The music ministry of the church? And what happens when those children outgrow the existing ministry and move into their teen years? Do you see what I’m getting at?
So why do we get so angry with others when they do not get on board the way we think they should? We may see talents in others that would be perfectly used in a specific ministry. But we don’t get to make those decisions for them.
It comes down to trust. We have to trust the Holy Spirit to motivate those in our church family to use the gifts HE has provided in the way HE wants them used. It may not make sense to us. We may not even like it much. But if we believe that we are doing our part in the ministry that God wants to do through our local congregation, we need to leave it to Him to get others involved in the way that he sees best.