Thursday, August 22, 2013

I Can Do Hard

I am been seriously bad at blogging this summer!  I have just been lazy.  I do my quiet times, but am too lazy to journal, which is sad because that is usually where I am able to process my thoughts and really see what God was saying to me through His Words that I just read.  So, consequently, I didn't gain too much from my quiet times this summer.  Sad.

But now, I have all my kids in school in the morning so I plan to take full advantage of the time to myself to spend more quality time for my quiet times instead of just sneaking it in when I can!  This is a part of this new season of life I think I am going to love!  However, I do miss my kids.

Anyway, I have had a rough week.  Took my baby to preschool.  Been struggling with my 5K times slowing down.  Had a really hard conversation with a friend and learned some things I don't know how to process. Can't seem to keep up on housework.  Frustrated that I haven't gotten any sub jobs yet (yes, I realize there has only been one week of school so far...).  It has just been one of those weeks where I can't seem to get ahead.

So, this conversation with my friend is really what has made my week pretty tough.  I have been doing a lot of praying and searching God's Word on how to handle all of it and was so thankful to have my dear friend and mentor help me think through some of it as well. 

I learned that someone I value has less than a stellar opinion of my work ethic and my dedication to a program that means a lot to me.  I have always felt that this person found me annoying and I was never on the top of their list, but to hear exactly what the issue was really hit me hard.

I have always been one to pour my heart into whatever I do, especially this area because it means so very much to me and feeds my soul in a way that no other thing can.  I figured out I value this person's opinion of me so highly because they play a key role in my ability to be able to be involved in this area and because they do such a great job at teaching me how to become better at it.

It is hard for me because I am not exactly sure where this opinion of me came from.  I know of one major incident that has occurred of which I tried to explain myself and apologized for.  I have prayed that God would show me where these thoughts might stem from and to show me if my dedication was truly in the wrong place (Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the way of the everlasting.) 

I am certain that this person's thoughts of me are not completely unfounded.  I am sure I am at fault in the matter and could have handled some situations with more grace.  I am certain that some of these thoughts have stemmed from complete misunderstandings on both of our parts as well and somewhat wish I could discuss these things out with them, but am not sure I have the guts to do it (or the ability to do it rationally without crying the whole time).  But I am also certain that some of it stems from this person's not fully understanding my situation or remembering exactly what it was like to be in my shoes or ever even knowing.  I feel a little robbed of grace myself to some extent. 

There is no where to fully place the blame, and I am pretty sure doing so wouldn't do any good.  I think my biggest struggle is that I never had the chance to defend or explain myself and that is what keeps eating at my heart. 

The first time I sat down to "hash" this out with God, He gave me a ton of verses.

James 1:2-4 "Count it joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."  I have some growing and learning to do through this struggle and I know I will come out better on the other side.

Colossians 3:17 "Whatever you do or say, do it all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to the Father through Him."  I think God was showing me with this verse that I value this person's opinion of me too highly.  If God wants to use me, He will.  I don't need to try and please someone to have the ability to use my talents for God.

Colossians 3:2 "Think about the things of heaven and not the things of the earth."  Focusing on this person's opinion of me will only rob me of the joy I have in Him and in my good relationships with so many others.

1 Peter 1:13 "Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  God has given me all the grace I need and even an abundance.  I need to make sure to extend that grace to others.

Romans 12:1-2 "And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you.  Let them be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing in His sight.  Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will come to know God's will for you, His pleasing and perfect will."  I need to make sure I have my heart in the right place.  I need to self-check my intentions, emotions, and actions.  They need to start only with Him.  I can't control anyone else, their opinion of me or my work ethic.  I need to be sure I know His will for me and focus on that.  I know where my heart is, and so does He.  That is all that matters.

Music is God's greatest way at getting through my head and I was so thankful when He gave me two songs at the end of a good (but slower than I wanted it to be) run the other day where I spent the entire 3 miles hashing through all of these things in my head.  "I Will Praise You in the Storm" Yes, this little setback is more like a rain shower than a storm, but I still need to praise Him through all of it.  And "He's Not Done With Me Yet".  Like I said, I do hold fault in this situation and am sure that God will help perfect me through what I am learning. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Just When I Need The Answer

Well, its been summer, and I have been on a blogging hiatus obviously.  Thankfully, I have been reading my Bible more often than I have been blogging, but still not near as much as I should.

I decided I was losing motivation in reading due to the brain power it took to read through Revelations, so I decided to change gears for a while and finish the second half of Revelation at another time.

We are moving into a period of unknowns for our family right now.  We just sold our house, with plans to build a new one starting at the beginning of September.  Problem is, the new one won't be done until March or so and we have to be out of this one by the end of September.  We are unsure where we are going.

Secondly, I have 1 1/2 more weeks of being a daycare provider a few days a week and am going back to substitute teaching.  I am super sad to lose the kiddos I love so much, but super excited to get back into subbing.  I really loved it the year I did it when I was pregnant with my oldest.  But, that leaves an unknown of how busy I will stay and the income I will earn.  It is all dependent on the number of days I get called.

Thirdly, I will have all three kids in school at some part of the day this year.  My oldest in 2nd grade, middle one starts all day kindergarten and my baby will be in preschool for 4 mornings a week.  That will be a lot for this mama to take.  Thankfully, I have someone great to take care of my baby after preschool on days that I am working so that helps a ton, but it is a new thing for me as well.  Putting my kids in child care instead of being the one providing the care will be an adjustment.

Anyway, with all of these unknowns and the faith it will take to get through it all without pulling my hair out and bawling my eyes out is going to be monumental.  I am going to need as much time in His Word as I can muster and I am going to need His wisdom to make the right choices.  So, He led me to Proverbs: the book of wisdom.

Already, He is encouraging me to stay more consistent with my quiet times with Him.  1:23 says "Come and listen to my counsel.  I'll share my heart with you and make you wise."  2:1-5 says, "My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.  Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.  Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding,  Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.  Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord and you will gain the knowledge of God."

Exactly what I needed to hear.  Encouragement to be in His words and wisdom every day and moment I can and the reassurance that He will guide me and give me His wisdom in all the unknowns that lie ahead.

God.  Is. Good!