Monday, October 27, 2008

Insert Insult of Choice [Here]

"Oh, but human beings
We all need to quit being inhumane."
-- Relient K's I Just Want You to Know


Sometimes as people we do some pretty crappy (Sorry -- no good words due to a lack of Pathwords playing! heehee) things to each other. Like taking credit for things we didn't do. Excluding people to make ourselves feel 'bigger' or 'better'. Name calling. Insults.




Oh, it's quite a long litany if one takes any sort of a look at the sad state of the human race! Even when it's not an election year! (I may be the only one who finds that funny.)

Thankfully, though, we don't have to rely on ourselves to see, listen to, and speak about the good things around us. We all have the choice as to whether or not we'll accept the amazingly free gift God has given to us through Jesus Christ -- eternal life spent with Him when we confess Jesus is our resurrected Saviour and Lord. And when we become Christians, Christ-followers, we are then given the gift of the Holy Spirit. He then enables us to live the Christian life. He is our Helper who speaks to us the things He hears from the Father. And that is pretty great when one thinks about it. God, giving us life and giving us all we need to live it for Him.

Will we lay hold of His provision? Or insist on muddling through it on our own?

Just a few things to ponder, along with why I watch what I do on TV.

But it's time to shut the thinker down and get some sleep. I don't need my furry alarm clock to poke me awake tomorrow morning. ^..^

Monday, October 20, 2008

Invisible Majority

Go into any place which sells magazines and you’ll be hit by a myriad of covers either proclaiming the latest celebrity news or featuring the newest/most popular celebrity’s face. It’s sort of crazy the amount of attention paid to and the interest in these people who are, basically, strangers to those outside their circle of friends, family and co-workers. And when you think about it, they really are the minority population-wise.

The majority of us, I’d wager, feel rather invisible in comparison. I know I do . . . and I don’t just mean compared to a celebrity. I mean in my circle of friends, family and co-workers. Yet the dichotomy I find in myself is I also don’t like to draw attention to myself or toot my own horn, if you prefer. I worry I’m being prideful or wrong or something . . . and I’m just not comfortable with it while at the same time I also want to hear I’m doing a good job or that I’m being a good person or that what I’m doing is seen and maybe even also appreciated.

It’s particularly hard when one feels that way within the body of Christ. And even as I type this, I know I’m bad for acknowledging those people around me who do the things I don’t see or see without really noticing it unless it’s not done. :P Then there’s the whole “But why am I doing this in the first place” musings which make us think we shouldn’t even be seeking any sort of recognition for what we’re doing. If we’re not careful, we’re soon stuck in a revolving door of recriminations and longing for acknowledgement.

As with many things in life, there is a balance, I think. I don’t think it’s wrong to want to hear you’re doing a good job or that you’re appreciated and what-not. But we can’t get so caught up in seeking or desiring the approval of others that we forget the One who we’re to be doing it all for in the first place -- God. We’re to do all things as unto the Lord and not man (Colossians 3:23, 24).

Sometimes I actually do remember this (though many times it’s easier said than done!). Now what do I do about the days when I don’t?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Less Than I Was Meant to Be

And if I had to tell you the truth
I'm afraid I'd have to say
That after all I've done and failed to do
I feel like less than I was meant to be
-- “What Life Would be Like” by Big Daddy Weave

I don’t always handle criticism or stress or correction well, which is too bad as it seems to have been a year full of those things. From sickness to seemingly unanswered prayers (until one looks back, even a bit, and sees God’s provision) to questions about faith to job changes to just, well, life I find myself longing at times for something ordinary. Something right in the middle of my comfort zone, if you will.

I honestly thought I was praying with real, working faith for my husband during the ‘please get this checked out’ in October ’07 all the way through to the doctor’s blunt ‘it’s cancer’ in early March ‘08. Really, I thought I was. I thought I was thinking right, believing right, confessing right . . . doing what I needed to do so the hand of God would move, so His healing provision would be seen and manifested in my husband’s body. As I later called my family to tell them the news, I can still remember tearfully telling my mom as she encouraged me to pray and have faith “But I thought I did have faith.” Right then I wasn’t so sure. And there have been times since then where I wonder if I do or did or ever will. I don’t want to doubt. I don’t want to be faithless. But I struggle with knowing if I’m truly praying with a faith that is going to do something. How can I tell? How do I know before something ‘big’ happens?

My husband did share with me shortly after the report we did not want to hear a word from God our pastor shared with him. The situation we were in was not because of something we had done. And my husband, knowing how I can be, encouraged me to be encouraged as well by that word. So I clung to it. At times, I think my grasp slipped. Then I would find myself reaching for it again like a life preserver in the stormy sea we found ourselves in and holding on all the more.

We were done with the chemotherapy in June. My husband returned to work part-time and then full-time. And just before we were set to go on summer holidays, just when I thought the rest of the year would be smoother, I found out the place I work at was being shut down at the end of September.

Time to look for a new job. And there, God provided again. But there is still the stress of trying to finish up a job that is going on longer than planned so I can start a new one. And I know I have not been faithful or the most diligent in my prayer life, Bible study, ministry, housework, writing and many other things I could list if there was the space and the time. Even as I try to be and to do what God has made me to be and to do, I still feel as if I’m missing the mark. And it’s hard. I’m trying to see the positive, to see where there’s fruit and not get bogged down by dead branches and weeds.

In short, I need to get my focus off of me and more firmly onto Jesus so He can work in me. So I can be what He meant for me to be. It’s a life-long process if I understand it correctly.

I pray for the strength to make it through to the end.

P.S. I just skimmed my last entry. I realize I may be whining and contradicting myself or something . . . but this is where I find myself at this moment. >_<

Friday, October 3, 2008

Up, Down, and Around

At some point, I think, I would like to not have any upheavals in my life. Or maybe just my week.

I think my husband had just returned to work on a part-time basis after finishing chemotherapy when I ran into a woman whose house I used to clean. I caught her up a bit on the last few years, saying I was working at a great place, hubby had finished chemo, so on and so forth. "Finally," I remember thinking that June day, "things are getting back to normal."

Fast-forward two weeks (or so) and I, along with my boss and the rest of my co-workers, found out the plant we all worked at is being shut down (and even that deadline has been moved . . . again). So much for things getting back to normal.

And I'm still waiting.

I know God can and does use times like this to work things out of us and work things into us; I know with a certainty I don't always possess that God provided for my husband and I both during the first 6 months of '08 in an amazing way and I know He still provides. But I'm ready to have things settled at my 'old' job so I can settle into the 'new' one (same company, different location). I'm just ready for some sense of normalcy to come round again. Not that I want complacency . . . just not so much upheaval, please and thanks.

So often we all, as people, have plans of where we should be when what we really need to do is get a hold of God's plans of where we should be. I think through all this I need to remember to do that, and then go where He leads.

I don't think Douglas Adams was a Christian, but this quote seems apt:

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

A number of things have not gone as I planned or dreamed at one point or another, but I know where I have obediently followed Jesus, I have ended up where I have needed to be.