Sunday, February 25, 2007

Stay Focused

It is a battle, after all. It is a battle of the mind. Of the will.

Today while I was waiting for my Togos order, I said to myself, and then to my Lord, “You have my mind, my life and my time.”

Generally in my mind, my life and my time, I find myself pushed and otherwise constrained to plan and think and do and go. And it dawned on me, since God is sovereign and since He loves me and since He is only good, and since I want to do His will, then where is there worry? Where is striving, in the human sense? Where is trying-to-get-it-all-done?

Yet the proof is in the pudding, is it not? Where the rubber meets the road is where in my life I actually have a changed life where anxiety is, in fact, put away.

Things are getting better. Things are looking up. I used to be a very anxious person and over the years, my anxiety is a lot less. I still love to achieve, but I need to keep with God’s rhythm, and not follow my own drumbeat.

The battle is in the mind to, in fact, have the mind of Christ and not my own instead.

“Father, my God,
Help me to stay within Your shield of protection. You are the Lifter of my head and the Sustainer of my life. Let me live my life before You encased and enclosed in Your love. Grant me the gift of a humble and contrite nature. I submit my mind, my life and my time. Help me to just walk, ignoring the tremendous pain and the repeated and irritating desire to be mad. As Oswald Chambers says, self pity is of the devil. I feel in pain and constrained, but I am also sustained and I am the recipient of tremendous blessings - in You!”

Do you ever feel exalted and abased at the same time, the same day? I feel like the circumstances in my life are in two different directions, and I need to stay on the level road of Christ. One reason I think that I have difficulties amongst great blessings is that the Lord knows how to keep me humble.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:42 PM | 7 comments

Friday, February 16, 2007

Onward March!


That is what I need. What you need, what we need. To persevere in Him.

How have I been persevering?

Well, the restrooms are messy where I work so I clean them up when I use them. Doing this has made my life easier. Also, I try to be nice at work. And to work hard and well. For the King! For Him! He is watching and He has a plan for my life!!

It is really difficult though, that, well, my children are getting grown. I was waiting for my ten year old, almost 11 year-old "baby" son to finish up his trombone lesson today. I was walking around the music store and I saw a little-itty baby sitting on what appeared to be a Mama's shoulder and I wanted to ask her if I could let the baby rest on my shoulder. Then I figured that the lady would think that I was a baby robber, and I'm not. I just wanted to feel that little baby lying on my shoulder, because I have no baby to lie on my chest.

Before the trombone lesson, I spoke with my 15 year-old son by telephone who attends a boarding school. He is handsome and smart, getting all A's and is in the school play and 5th chair on the tennis team. It was a fun conversation and back and forth we went and then we sort of ran out of things to say and it was near the time that we needed to hang up. I wanted to drain upon his ear a sorrow of longings and various sentimental sayings and I realized that would not be helpful. I just told him I was proud of him and that I missed him and I felt a longing that I feel again as I recite this event.

This morning I said good-bye to my 13 year-old girl is away at church camp Friday through Monday. I will be away Monday through Wednesday and won't see her until Wednesday. We hugged in the kitchen this morning before she left for school. She was all grown-up in being able to handle everything that she needed for the exhibition.

My 16 and a half - no wait, almost 17 year-old "girl" is on her way to completing college applications and travel world-wide destinations. She is brilliant and vibrant.

Those are the four of them. The ten year-old is still a child. The others are lost forever to the realm of teen hood, sliding on down to adulthood. Forever.

But I have dreams.

Yeah, I won't have them lying on my chest, spitting up their food and crying to have their diapers changed. I won't have moments of exasperation when I wish I was somewhere else or they were grown and then immediately feeling guilty and trying to undo that thought because I knew that one day I would miss the days of chaos of childhood vibrancy and parent's patience being stretched.

Though they won’t be babies, I will have a family of believers walking along the golden streets of the most important city in the world - or rather, not in this world, but in Zion - in the City of God, in heaven.

While still on earth I will have children who are not children at all but leaders of their communities, leaders of the country and even the world, because they are able to lead as there are not enough godly leaders to lead. They will be leaders because God has called them to lead and to stand for righteousness and godliness and truth.

There will be family vacations and gatherings, in which together we are the body of Christ - or part of the body, part of Christ's body. And together we can experience His moving amongst us and He can and will knit us together for His purposes and glory.

I will have the completion of a work well-done that God has called me to in being their mother on earth. What a gift!

Okay. New subject. Switch gears.

I had a prayer the other day, and repeated it today. You can pray it also. It is this: That when God made me, when He first thought of ME all of those thousands of years ago, before the creation of the world, yeah - then. And when He thought of me and He had a plan as to how He wanted me to be, my prayer is that He would do that in me now. That I could become the person that He created, or wanted to create when He first thought of me.

Yet, I know I fail. This is the paradox. I failed just tonight as I had the glass of wine that I thought that I shouldn't because when I do indulge, I eat too much and don't think too well. I become irritable and self-entitled and as for patience - what's that? So I failed in that I used poor judgment and then got mad, at least to myself. I thought to myself, "I had better not say anything, because I will say the wrong thing." Well, when God created me, all of those thousands of years ago, or at least He thought of creating me then, I don't think He smiled when He thought of my short-comings and sins, but perhaps He smiled when He thought about how they wouldn't destroy me because He would save me from my sins. My sins will find me out, but He will save me from my sins.

Moving on. New subject. Third gear. Back to work.

I don't really feel like being so-called successful at work. I'd rather have a million dollars and sit around a fitness club, sail around the ocean and watch a lot of TV and movies, I suppose. However, after a year of my own bout with relaxation and mothering leisure time, my butt is getting into gear and I am working. I think that God has whipped my behind and I am heading back to work mentally. So, you may not understand. Not my problem. My problem is, my occupation is, my job description is, to find out what God wants me to do and do it. So I think that He wants me to work so I am doing that. He wants me to work hard and so I am. And, I am talented at it and that is not an accident. Because I am not His accident. I am His beautiful design! It is His plan for my life. It is a gift of God and I need to treat His gifts kindly and respectfully. There are a lot of people working really hard just to get bread on the table, and I can't go acting disrespectfully to the job and ability that the Lord has given me to do, even by taking it for granted or acting “put-out” by “having” to work. The Bible speaks of what happens with idol hands, so God has given me plenty to do, even if I don’t understand everything, in terms of how He works and moves the way that He does. So I will be respectful towards the labor that He has given me to do, and do it well and with honor, even if it ain't like having a baby growing in your belly and another couple of babies in the double-seated baby carriage.

God bless and I love y'all!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:35 PM | 7 comments

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Superbowl "fun"

Ahhhh! A wonderful hour at the old blog. I am hopeful that today I can go to my friends' blogs. But first I am going to write. I wonder if I am going to be able to enter into Maria's blog because there is some sort of block for me to get in there. I hope I can go back several weeks to finally respond to those who have visited me. I've been busy, and sometimes I wonder why (God, I think/presume) has me kept so busy.

Today I sat in my car and caught up on my Bible homework. It was wonderfully slow in and about our small city at the time. I live in a California city that looks identical whether it sprang up in any one of a plethora of locations within the State. Home Depot here, Romano's Macaroni Grill there, Starbucks there, and there and there like speckles sprinkled throughout the small metropolis.

There were not many people walking around because the Superbowl had already begun. However, I saw several Asians walking, and then later another Asian man walking. I didn't go home and do my homework at home for two reasons. First, "we" were having a Superbowl party at our house ("oh yippee") and it would be difficult to do Bible homework. Second, second....second. I can't remember the second point. Maybe I wrapped up both point one and two in the first point. Now as re-read point number one, it rather contains two points.

While in the car as I was reading the temptation and fall of King David before the beautiful Bathsheba, I read that David fell when a number of circumstances came together. One of those reasons was the fact that he did not go off to war when it was the time for kings to go off to war. He was not kept busy. He was not struggling and begging God as he had to do for so much of his life up to this time. Sometimes hard work keeps us out of trouble. So maybe that is why the Lord has me work hard, to keep me out of trouble, and to keep my abiding in the vine, remembering how much I need Him.

Earlier today my husband, his sister and two of my children and myself went to church. What a blessing. My husband brought his sister who was visiting us for the Superbowl (“oh yippee”) weekend. What a bold testimony before her, not only that he was going to church, but also to bring her. God is working, even though we are having a carnal Superbowl party at our house (right now as I write), (“oh, yippee”). One little girl who is over the house is about age 12. My thirteen year old daughter led her to the Lord when she was about five and gave her a tiny little Bible. Since that time her parents have divorced, her alcoholic father has moved in and out of living with another woman whom he never loved but used, got arrested for drunk driving and had his sentence increased to something like 130 hours of community service for smarting off to the judge. I hope that my daughter is able to continue to witness and encourage her friend in God’s truth! May God move in both she and her father’s life. While we (“we?”) are on the subject, over the past several years the father of the girl has witnessed the transformation of my husband from being occupied each Sunday worshipping football to inviting the guests for today’s wonderful Superbowl extravaganza (“oh yippee”) to arrive anytime after 11 AM (so he can go to church! – they can do the math).

Anyway, while at church this morning (now what was I going to say about that? I’m tired! I’ve been working really hard lately, guess I need to go sleep soon). I can not remember what I was going to say about church this morning. But it was great to go. Fantastic to go with my husband. So many years (19!) I went alone. So going with him is wonderful, a blessing. Having the first member of his family come along with him is phenomenal and maybe that was the entire point I was going to make. This important point is useful to remember because I don’t really like this Superbowl (“oh yippee”) party that is going on at this time, but I don’t want to talk about that anymore.

Well, I must say I am a little taken aback by my forgetful tendencies today as I have been writing this blog. I am tempted to erase (or I guess I should say, “cut”) and go on. Pretend it never happened. But I want to be real. The real me. Not a fake, glossy, plastic substitute.

Oh, but to be impressive! Oh, but to inspire out of some sort of innate wit and charm! Oh the lure to, having begun in the Spirit to then try and be perfected in the flesh! It is God! If He wants to make me look impressive then He will work in ways that I can not even muster up myself. He will do with His Holy Spirit what He wants to do. I just need to get out of the way. Oh, I want to be used of God.

I want to be used at the hospital where I work. Let me talk a little bit about that. My hospital has struggled for many years, and no matter what particular CEO is at the helm for that particular month or year, nobody can pick up Humpty Dumpty and put together a hospital that is actually stellar, or above average.

Over this past week I have grown frustrated about this fact and wondered if there was something that I could do about the situation. Last night after going to bed, I felt inspired to get up and write out a bunch of points, which I did. An hour and half later, and then an hour after that I finally fell back to sleep. This morning I woke up to realize the whole list, while probably useful, was probably not implement-able other than the realization that I just need to keep doing the best I can do personally while I am there.

Not much more I have to say today!

Okay, a couple more words. As I was looking up books to get started reading for my MBA, I read about something called Organizational Behavior. It is like the psychology of organizations. That is so cool. I am a psychiatrist. It would be fun to travel through out the US and go into other organizations and analyze what they are doing wrong and tell them. I think I would do that well, just like at the hospital I think I see what the problems are, even though I may not feel like
pounding down those ideas down all of the opposition’s throats’ (somebody follow behind me and correct my grammar please!) at the particular place that I work. I wonder what the Lord has for me to do.

I am praying that the Lord would bring my husband into the body of Christ as a functioning member. Life is waiting for him!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 5:57 PM | 12 comments