Monday, August 31, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
And I have to tell you, there is nary a moment to spare. Between adding more freelance writing projects, chaplaincy work, home stuff, friends who need help, husband stuff, church stuff, hormone stuff, and keeping connected to my Abba-Father, there is no time. Add to that, the husband has started working between 50-58 hours a week.
The margin in our lives, which was such a gift through the first year of our marriage, is dwindling. I am waving it a wistful farewell. I'm working to come to grips with our new existence. I'm asking God to show me what to do, what to delegate, and what to let go of. Truthfully, I think my husband and I are both a little bit wary of what this new season will mean for our marriage.
And there's the question mark about whether God will bless us with a child at some point. Where in the world does that fit in to this picture? Only God knows. And I'm so glad He does.
Anyway, all this hullabaloo means that I have had many a "come-to-Jesus" moment this last week or two. I mean this figuratively as in "get a grip" and literally, as in, "Help me, please, Lord."
I have already canceled two lunch appointments for next week. I mourned the fact that my new hairstylist here quit, and quickly called up another local salon, hoping for the best. I finished a freelance project, talked my dear mother into working for me on some database/coordination issues next week, then called our lead chaplain to ask if another chaplain might cover for me during the month of September.
Then I looked at the husband and asked him what all of this is going to look like. Our latest realization, although it goes against our grain a bit, is that we are in need of finding a kind soul to clean our small home once a week. This is something we've never done before--and frankly, never thought about doing. But we are asking ourselves how to be good stewards of our time and energy. How to preserve a safe haven for ourselves, while doing the work and learning God has called each of us to do.
We are not the type to burn the candle at both ends. That is, I was the type, but then I learned my lesson--years ago. We want to live life intentionally, with grace and joy. With healthy food, quiet time with our Savior, and time to give to each other and those who come across our paths. And so we are, with God's help, creating a new season in which He can use us.
It is like a blank canvas, really. But I'm thankful we're assembling the colors and the brushes. Getting ready to use what is needed to move forward on the journey. Now, after all is said, may my heavenly Father give me the grace to leave the paintbrush in His hand, to surrender the reins.
That's what this girl has decided to do.
Friday, August 14, 2009
By the time this woman got done talking, I was getting fired up, too. God is obviously on the move, mending hearts, changing lives, shaking things up and pouring out His love and mercy. We hope our church might be a place of refuge for all these women who will come through our doors.
And then this woman spoke what all of us face at different turns: she spoke of how fear creeps in at times as we are trying to do God's work, when we are trying to do almost anything. And the enemy of our souls does what he can to drive this fear deeper, making us afraid that something will fail. And sometimes we also fear that it will succeed.
She brought a wonderful card for each of us with a verse that helps her remember God's grip on us, his real presence that is with us, no matter what emotion might come or go. And I have this verse perched in my business card holder next to my laptop. Which is likely where it will remain for semester #1:
"I will not in any way fail you, nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you, let you down, nor relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!"
Hebrews 13:5, Amplified Bible
All I'm saying is, God cannot leave us without support. He won't leave us helpless. And he'll never let go of us, no matter what. I'm thankful the Amplified Bible really wrings the truth out of this verse for us. I'm really thankful for emphatic promises from our Creator that we can sink our toes down into, where we can lean back and be caught, something in which we can ultimately put our trust.
No matter what the fear, he cannot fail us.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
"I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine."