Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Is Finally Here!

To say this week has not gone according to my plans would be a major understatement.  I didn't feel well Sunday night but I attributed it to being tired - surely a good night's rest was all I needed!  Monday dawned bright & early with a long To Do list & a queasy stomach.  And so goes 24+ hours of my life.  I doctored myself up as best as I could, dutifully munched the toast Mike fixed, & prayed I'd be well enough to go vote.

God is gracious.  I woke up this morning with a broken fever & no body aches.  I had the strength to get cleaned up, drive to the polls, wait in a short line, & cast my vote.  What a privilege!  I pray it's something I never take for granted.

Recently as I was reading my Bible I was taking in some of the Old Testament accounts of Israel & Judah.  Talk about political upheaval - kings were coming & going & wars were starting & finishing fast enough to make my head spin!  And this is what I wrote in my journal:
I have been reminded that from the very beginning God has been in control of the kings & kingdoms - He determined who would be established & who would fall.  The Lord always honored those who obeyed & those who humbled themselves & repented of their disobedience.
And so it is today.  May American leaders have the wisdom to humble themselves & repent of their disobedience.  And even if they do not, the Lord is still in control.  He will still work out His plan.  As an American I probably will not be able to confidently say, "It's all going to work out; it's all going to be OK!"  But as a daughter of the Most High King, I certainly can say "All is well.  The battle is already won & my future is bright with the Light of Heaven."

I hope you were able to go out & vote today.  God bless America. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Not Giving Up!

I took on a big project yesterday.  It's a project that I've taken on for the past three years with varying degrees of completion/success.  The Project = Raking the Leaves.

Oy.  Autumn is a beautiful time of year but the shedding of leaves has to be part of the curse.  God help me if I have to raise my arms, lift anything, or grip anything tomorrow.  I.am.going.to.be.SORE.

But it's all done - the leaves have been raked & bagged! 
 I even mowed the grass!

It's still not a prize winning yard by any means.  But I am grateful that the Lord granted me the time & the strength to get it done!  And I'm most grateful that it only has to be done once a year *grin*

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Bit of An "Ah-ha" Moment

I have really kind of struggled this week.  It's been a physical/emotional kind of struggle.  No matter how much sleep I get, I'm tired.  No matter how much I get done, it feels like I'm wasting time.  No matter how many job searches I do, I can't seem to find the place that could be the right fit for me.  And then there are people in my life that I love who are also struggling.  And being the person that I am, when I hear about those other struggles I try to pick them up & carry them, stacking them on top of the burdens that are already weighing me down.

Oy.  What a way to live!  I'm pretty sure that this is not the abundant life that Jesus talks about giving to us.  But you know, I wasn't even aware of what I was doing until I had a conversation with Mike today on his lunch break.  

I was asking him if he thought I should see our doctor to check out whether or not I am struggling with depression.  Yep, it's kinda been that bad (that's part of the reason I have been hiding out from this space; who wants to read sad junk all the time?!).  I told him that some days I feel like I don't remember how to smile & when I try to, my face just feels twisted.  

Of course, Mike was loving, kind, & supportive in his response.  He told me I could if I thought it was necessary.  He told me there was nothing wrong with exploring the situation.  And he told me he knew how I felt because he had been in that same place before.  He calls it feeling 'blue'.  

Somehow, after he told me that I wasn't comforted.  I was kind of mad, actually & so, so sad.  Where is our joy?  Why are we so sad?  What are we missing that the Lord is trying to work out in us?

As I drove home I had a miniature pity party fit.  I cried & told God that I really just missed my mom so much.  And that I just wanted a job, for crying out loud!  And hadn't this been enough?  Wasn't He going to fix anything anytime soon?!

And I don't know what brought these thoughts to mind, but I started thinking about Thanksgiving.  Most of my Thanksgiving thoughts so far have been to fuss & worry about how we are going to plan & pull off the family meal because Mom was the genius behind all of that.  But today I actually had some genuine Thanksgiving thoughts.  I wondered, If I really start trying to be grateful for what I have, rather than mourn what I have lost, will I recover my joy?  Will I start to have some hope?  Will I learn to trust God?  Because I am really struggling with that...

And you probably really don't want to know where my thoughts went from there because it will just highlight to you what a freak I am.  I thought, Maybe I can list 1,000 gifts by the end of the year!  I'll be just like Ann Voskamp!  And I'll post them here on the blog every day!  Then I got to trying to do the math in my head...there are 61 days left in the year, 1,000/61=I-have-no-idea-but-it's-a-lot!  And then I got real with myself & admitted that I can in no way commit to posting here on the blog every single day.  I'm just too scattered for that.

Then my mind went into an even scarier place: I thought, I'll get on Pinterest & find some sort of Thanksgiving chart thing to make where Mike & I can daily list our blessings!  That idea is nuts for so many reasons, number one being that I don't have even a single sheet of construction paper in this house & number two being that Mike truly feels that stuff like that belongs in a elementary school classroom & not in our home, plastered on the kitchen wall, for example.

So I guess maybe I just need to make a change in my thinking.  And I know that the Lord will help me do that.  He already has, truthfully.  Right after I came home from meeting Mike on his lunch break (a perk of unemployment that I'm so grateful for) I came home & started raking/bagging the leaves in our yard.  As you all know, this is a somewhat exhausting chore & awkward (dumb leaves, GET.IN.THE.BAG!).  But as I raked & piled & scooped & bagged I thought about how we have a yard!  we have trees!  we have a rake! & bags! I'm healthy & strong enough to do the job!

Maybe what I'm finally beginning to learn is to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  I Thessalonians 5:18

Because "all circumstances" includes the death of your mom, the loss of your job, the disappointment of expectations, the death of dreams, all circumstances = ALL circumstances.  And the Lord wouldn't ask me to do it if He couldn't help me accomplish it.

So I'm putting on my Turkey hat & starting the work of being thankful.  I hope you are, too!