Monday, January 23, 2012

Broken Families

The last few weeks have been a real struggle for me at work.
I've been brokenhearted, saddened by watching these families and friends that I work for slowly fall apart.
Hurting as if it was my own family being destroyed.
I look for my role in this challenge and wonder if I could've done anything to prevent this.
What is the reason for this?
What is the lesson?
I hear God speaking to me, in the people he's putting before me, in Facebook post that "click" for my situation, in blogland, and in the Sunday school lesson and sermon that followed.
Concrete solutions has been difficult to see but some words of wisdom have been comforting.
I've taken the wisdom from Sunday school's scripture:

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NIV)

and from our Sunday sermons from James 1 in speaking of taking great joy and perservering during trials. 
I don't know if this is my trial to endure but considering how much my heart hurts for my co-workers, I will joyfully endure with them.
I will come to work and give a shoulder to lean on. 
I will give them all the love I have to give them in hopes of them finding the love they all had for each other before this all happened.
I will cast all my worries on Him (1Peter5:7) and remain confident in kowing that He has a plan for what is happening.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Perfectly Imperfect

I was thinking, "Why do we beat ourselves up for our lack of perfection before God?"  Maybe I believe different than most, but if God made me who I am, how I am and God makes no mistakes, then:
I am perfect.
There is nothing about me that is wrong.
I totally and completely embrace who I am
Because God made  me the way I am
It is because of the circumstances in life that he has put before me that I have
the personality that I have,
the desires.
It is because of the gifts He has bestowed upon me that I have
the talents I have,
the skills.
He has a purpose for me and I am going with it completely.
Do I embrace my sinfulness?  No, but I will not punish myself when I fall to sin.  Who am I to punish myself when God has forgiven me?  Jesus has already paid for my sins, which I am grateful for.
God uses my sins to teach me, help me grow into who he wants me to become.  So, instead of beating myself up, I will take these lessons as opportunities to become the Christian that I want to be.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Changing Hearts

"5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6. in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

I have to make a confession - I've been avoiding going to church.  There were several small, silly reasons that I hadn't gone:
- feeling anti-social
- stressed
- holiday overkill
- exhaustion with the kids
Those were all excuses I was making but not the real reason I wasn't going.  Have you ever met someone that, for lack of a better way to say it, "rubbed you the wrong way"?  Maybe they never said anything directly to you, but you felt that comments were meant as jabs and you felt like they were constantly judging you.  I have one of those people in my life.  I've been able to not let it bother me until recently, but I guess maybe I let them get to me at a sensitive moment.  So, I've been avoiding them by avoiding church.  See, I wasn't mad at this person, I didn't truly think that this person was trying to hurt me or anything.  I was bothered by my reaction to this person.  You have to know me to really understand why this has been hard for me.  I am totally oblivious when it comes to people not liking me (or liking me).  You literally have to tell me, "I don't like you.  Go away", before I will get the hint.  This person didn't do that.  Not only did they not do that, I don't think they've said anything to me to be hurtful or mean, so I've been very confused by my feelings, but I think I may know why now.
When it comes to my Christianity, I feel like a failure.  I feel like it is insufficient and flawed.  I've rejected my Christianity more than once.  I struggle with being the humble Christian woman I am asked to be.  I admire the soft spoken kind woman.  Me - I talk to much, am straight forward, too honest, loud, and a confident woman.  I actually think that I'm upset that this person might not see anything good in me.  Why do I care?  I see how this person can carry both those sides, maybe not to an extreme, and be a beautiful Christian woman.  It's what I'd love to be.
She came up to me after service today and apologized for  making a joke a few weeks ago at what she considered my expense ( a joke that I could've seen myself making).  When she first came up to me, she asked how I'd been and tried to make small talk.  It was so strange that the only thing I could say was "Fine.  So what do you want?"  It didn't come out quite as harsh as it's written here, but it was direct.  When she apologized, I wanted to tell her how I'd felt and how I didn't like that I felt that way.  I wanted to tell her how sorry I was that I had these odd feelings toward her in my heart, but I think I was so taken aback by the entire thing that all I could say was thank you.  I was probably one of the most sincere thanks you's that I've ever said.  I felt it in my heart and it made me want to cry because it felt so good.
I don't know if things are perfect now, or even really better, but my heart has come to understand it's own confusion and from there I can pull it towards a better way of thinking toward this person and myself.  I thank God for motivating me to go to "coffee shop service" (as I so fondly refer to it as) Sunday and for listening to my heart these last few weeks about it all.  I am grateful to my preacher for telling me Sunday that "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." (Proverbs 18:1 ESV).  It encouraged me to come to church when I just wanted to curl up at home.  I asked for guidance and God gave me more than I expected.  I love it when I see God so brilliantly and hear His soft whisper so loudly.

Linking today at:
Hear it on Sunday, use it on Monday
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