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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

And to think I was feeling sorry for myself.


We have had to make some hard decisions over the last several weeks. The economy and the job market have put us in a place where things are tight. What we took for granted mere months ago is no longer there. Going to the Dr. for $30 - I USE to complain about. Now it will cost us much more than that. The boys were jumping on the bed the other day and broke it. BROKE it. I was so upset. And I cried. Over a BED. I ended up telling them they knew better than to jump on the bed but it is just a bed. No more jumping - move on. You would think after having a head through the window pane and many knots on the noggins for jumping that it was something they would not do again - but never underestimate the free spirit of a 9 year old boy. But back to - it IS just a bed.

I was reading Tim Staffords Blog this morning. He is a writer/reporter and just returned from Haiti. After reading about each person there mourning at times at least 100 people, I was ashamed. These people have no jobs to make money. They are scared to sleep in a building if there is one standing, because it may fall on them. They sleep outside on blankets and sheets. There is no infrastructure to organize and see things are taken care of in some kind of orderly fashion. They do not sleep well and they wake up scared. I have no idea what hard is.

Suddenly this house that has a leak in the roof and 2 broken windows (both the boys doing), a broken dishwasher, a leaky fridge, and 2 cars that are 10 years old are treasures. TREASURES! How blessed are we? Was I really feeling sorry for myself yesterday?

The list of blessings is long. The bed, though broken, has a nice mattress with warm blankets under a secure roof. My children sleep soundly in peace every night. No nightmares of falling rubble and hungry tummies plague them. We are not mourning the loss of a single family member at this time. Thank you Lord.

I can say that reading the Blog this morning has caused me to be grateful! How it has caused my heart to hurt for the many who truly know fear and loss. What can I do? How can I help?

The fact is that God has given us what we need to make it through this day. He has called those who are his and equipped them with the tools to serve others....

Galatians 5
13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Here I am Lord - use me as you will. Cause my eyes to rest where the need is and give me resources to serve those in need well. Forgive me for feeling sorry for myself and thinking that my world was rocked because of a little job change. Cause me to focus on the blessings of our lot and do not let my heart envy those with more. Give me boundless energy to serve you and those you place in my path. So be it Lord...with your blessing.

If you are interested in reading the blog here is the link:
http://timstafford.wordpress.com/

Hebrews 10:
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.


Forward - no shrinking back, no feeling sorry for myself. Oh Lord, help me to remember this!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homesickness


We were packed up, I was so excited. Everything I needed was in a truck and in my suitcases and I was going away to college. I could not believe it. It was not what I had planned initially. I was happy going to school there in my hometown. But, God had opened a door and I was adventurous enough at that time to walk through it. I hugged my mom and my dad and my little brother goodbye. The impact of what I was doing had not yet hit me.

Three days later...it did. My roommate had a job. I was alone. I cleaned the apartment. I went to the grocery store. I rolled around that little apartment like a marble in a refrigerator box. Then I cried. I wanted my Mama. I wanted my Daddy. I wanted my little brother. I wanted my bed, I wanted my friends. I was so sad. It was an acute, painful longing and a horrible realization that I had made a big mistake.

My mother, being the wise woman that she is, told me to go somewhere where there were people. She told me to find the local church, the Baptist Student Union, somewhere and serve. Work. She said I would feel better and it would get better soon. So, knowing my Mama would never steer me wrong. I got me up, washed my face, and grabbed my bike. Up I rode to the Baptist Student Union. It took a lot of internal fortitude for me to do this (thank you Lord!), but I walked in, asked someone what I could do to help and started working.

Mama was right. I was immediately better. I found friends. My mind was busy, and though I still missed home, the work my hands found and the friends I found soothed that homesickness.

I am homesick now. I find myself longing for my eternal home quite a bit. But I know where I am is no mistake. I know that I have a purpose here on this earth and the only thing I can do to assuage the ache of missing my eternal place is working for the coming kingdom.

Last week I had the happiest week I have had in quite some time. The reason? I was working. Not my job, but getting ready for the Outreach conference at Church and baking and organizing a bake sale so that we could donate the proceeds to Haiti. I have found the mundanities of this life, like cleaning my home, which always gets dirty again, and trying to find additional work, to help with our income, is quite depressing. But my focus being on helping others last week made for a light and happy heart.

I cannot take up every need I see. In spite of the dislike I have of cleaning my home and looking for additional work, they are a necessity. I thought that since I was working outside of the home that by cutting all the extra things i had done in the past out, that it would make it easier to have that job. But I have found I need to find those little projects to work on in order to give me a little uplift. Apparently that kind of service is a joy to me, one I have missed sorely.

So, to assuage the homesickness, I will find work...get my hands busy with building the unshakeable kingdom. I will find today what God will for my hand to do. It will be like packing my bags to go home.

Matthew 6:32-34
32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Psalm 139


1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.