Friday, February 24, 2017

Day 19: A Tinker-belle of Sorts

Here we are, nearly 6 AM when I should be getting around for work, but the thoughts in my head couldn't keep my focus long enough to do what I wanted to do, let alone what I should do.  So goes it most days!  HA!

We have been fortunate enough over the past few years to have a vehicle with a DVD player in it.  I can tell you this has been a wonderful tool to keep the Littles occupied on those long trips.  For safety reasons, the makers of the vehicle removed the ability for the driver to watch anything on the front screen while the vehicle is in any gear but park.  Savages....must be for those OTHER drivers!!! Because of this, I have gotten the pleasure of listening to far more movies than I have ever watched.  Sometimes this is frustrating, but other times it is almost like like listening to a book - I get to form the imagery in my head.

Like most little girls, mine have been fond of Barbie and Disney for the better part of their lives, not necessarily playing with the toys, but watching the movies, and boy has there been a plenty! My biggest Little has always loved Tinkerbell movies, even now at almost 15, she still gets a kick out of watching them.  (I'm not entirely sure she would openly admit this, though!) There is one, in particular, I've had the pleasure of listening to a couple of times and it is that one I couldn't get out of my mind this morning while I reading my Bible and doing my devotions.

In this particular movie, Tinkerbell is quite saddened by the fact she has been identified as a tinker fairy. In fact, to prove the "label" wrong she sets out to be like all of her fairy friends.  She tries to make the flowers bloom and be colorful like one friend, to make the woodland animals come out in the spring like another, and make the weather patterns like yet another.  In her quest to do each of these she fully exhausts herself because no matter how hard she tries, she simply cannot succeed.  In fact, the harder she tries the more she messes it up, to the point of near catastrophe in each case.  It isn't until things get so bad in Pixie Hallow that she finally realizes to help save the "world" she needs to build a contraption to do all of the things in a certain amount of time for that to happen. And since we are dealing with Disney here, she tinkers up something from bits and pieces and becomes the hero of her story while setting all things back as they should be.

Now, I will admit, having listened to this half-heartedly (driving the vehicle was always more important) I may have mixed up the storyline just a small bit, but the just of it is there and the implications are grand. I wonder how many of us try to do something or be someone we aren't because we don't feel like who we are is cool enough, good enough, smart enough, showy enough, etc.  You get the picture. I hate to admit, I am a lot like Tinkerbell in this story.  I try so very hard to be someone or something I am not for a myriad of reasons.  The most profound reason why is because I don't fully trust who I am in relation to who God says I am.  I want to be able to "be" someone so much I fail to realize that I already am. (Funny thing, I'm thinking about the bin of yarn and crochet hooks sitting in our living room...yet another failed attempt to do/be something I clearly cannot.  Seriously, how does one get those loops and things to form something other than a lumpy chain.  I have wasted hours trying to do this.  I found no joy in it, but I was determined to learn how since it was obviously something, as a woman, I should know how to do. - I'm donating it all this weekend.)

I think sometimes (I'm going to self-reflect here) I get so caught up with the outward show of what others can do, that I think what I can do is of no value.  But that isn't the case at all, God designed me and made me and formed me for a purpose, this means I have value.  I have worth. What I keep trying to do is appraise it through a wrong set of parameters. Sure I might not be a flawless diamond according to the scales, but I'm a diamond none-the-less, even if I have a slight inclusion.  That is just it, we all are.  We are all valuable and worth far more than diamonds to the one who created us.  The one who created us with the purpose to fulfill OUR purpose on Earth for HIS glory.

So, to those ladies out there who think they are nothing because so and so can do such and such and you can' what.  Because there is something you can do that no one else in this entire world can do, no matter how very, very hard they try; they cannot be you. And while I ruminate on this today for myself, I do pray that we find the ability to be bold and stand firm in who we are and what we can do.  God has so much for us to accomplish and while painting flowers and calling the woodland creatures out to play makes for a pretty landscape, someone needs to save the "world" (read that grow the people around you).

Keep growing where you are planted.

Love, M

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day 18: Eagerness

I'm back to this challenge if you will.  Perhaps it is more to complete it than anything?  Remind me again why I thought this was a good idea.  Oh yes, Pinterest and writing prompts and because others do this and....

I searched hard for this prompt, more because I wanted to write than anything.  It is silly, really, this insatiable need I get at times to write.  There are days all I think about (yes even at work) is writing down all of the thoughts in my head.  I have even gone so far as wanting to take a last minute vacation day just to sit in front of my computer and watch the words pop up on the screen in response to the keys my fingers hit. I digress...

The prompt today is simply this: I am eager for God to... Seems pretty open ended and easy enough to answer.  However, I am curious what that response would be for each of us if we truly got down to the center of who we are and shine the light of who he is through that.  My very first thought when I read this was, 'to make me a teacher'.  Seems to align with my heart's greatest desire, my spiritual gift, and the thing I spent a lot of money on to get a higher education.  However, I have been stepping back from that desire of mine, not that it isn't still there, but because I'm not fully sure what it is to look like, yet.

I am not sure if I've shared this with anyone other than those who are closest to me, and there are very few at that, but one of the things that I pray for fervently is for the Lord to make me a better person, to help me be more like him. Do not misread that, I don't want to be him, but I want to be more like him.  But even with that being a constant prayer (read that multiple times a day some days), what I want more than anything is for Him to use me. So, that's it, I am eager for God to use me. There is a song we sang at my old church (which I miss more than I care to admit most days) that had many verses, but the crux of it was to fill me, mold me, and use me.  Oh, how I can remember having tear soaked eyes while singing those words.

Now there are many who would beg to ask, "who is to say he isn't using me now"? To which I would have to say 'I am not sure, is He?'  Is there anything of value coming from my life at this time?  Here are a couple things I know to be true:

1) God uses everyone according to who they are in relation to who He is
2) God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called.
3) God knows every intricate detail of every single person...all of it - the good and the bad - and because of this, He allows for growth and knowledge accordingly.  (This is a really, really deep thought process and perhaps another blog all of its own, but know the meaning behind it is this - He isn't going to give you a ministry or a purpose that puts you smack dab into the middle of a situation that you have a propensity or natural bend for sin.  I.e. if you have a natural inclination to drown in the bubbly, He isn't going to send you to a bar to minister to folks.)
4) God is God and He is perfect and unwavering.  He is steadfast and true.  He doesn't change, we do.

While I have a desire to teach others, I have a bigger desire to be used by the Lord exactly how he sees fit. Not my will be done, but His.  Sure, it makes me sad and emotional (as in I am crying right now just typing these words), but nothing forced is fruitful.  Sure, there can be momentary results, but they are rarely lasting.  I don't want to force myself into a calling.  I want to be exactly where He wants me to be, used exactly for the purpose He so designed me to be used.

What is it you are eager for the Lord to do? I challenge you to think about this but remember, He isn't a genie in a bottle, so asking for a million dollars, to be president, to go on exotic vacations, those things may not be the best things to ask for.  But, asking the Lord to show you how to be a better steward, to lead like He does, or to show you a foreign mission, those may be two cents, of course.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

To Be or Not To Be

No, this isn't going to be a literary assessment on Hamlet or anything by Shakespear for that matter, but what this post will be is a break from the "challenge". I shared in the last post about what pride can and does do for me (I was going to put us, but there is no need to bring everyone into this...) and how it isn't such a cool thing.  I have an, unfortunately, innate ability to think of things I want to talk about and write about when I am in no position whatsoever to do either.  For instance, yesterday as I was in the shower I visioned myself in front of a room of women sharing a portion of my testimony.  Sadly, this isn't the first time I've done this, but each time it is concerning a different portion of my testimony and the things I have learned along the way.  Then again as I was driving down the road I began thinking of things I wanted to write about - either in this blog or in a book.  Wouldn't you know it, before I could get to a time and place where I could write some of these profound (in my mind) bits of wisdom down, the day had come and gone.   Now, this morning, I am left with crickets in the place of words.

You may be wondering what all of that has to do with being.  Or maybe not since you have read my blog long enough to know I often feel the need to give a back story before I actually GET to a point!  HA! During my time reading this morning I read not once, but twice where the Lord was telling the people not to worry, not to fear.  By the way, I'm in Mark and I really like the way it is written.  It is straight up, to the point, and well, undeniably the perfect word of God.  What does all of THAT have to do with being?  Oh, so much more than I wish it did.

Have you ever, just once (because to admit more than that would mean there could possibly be an issue), said something because of another person?  How about done something because of another?  Or bought something because of them?  This other person doesn't even have to have a face, it could be the proverbial one, the one who you are trying to out do, one up, be better than, strive to become, be noticed by, gain the admiration of, etc.  I hate to admit this about myself, but I have.  I realized something just last week that hasn't set well with me since.  I found that when I meet someone new, one of the first things I do is share something about my life - be it about my Littles, my Mr., or my background - that will give me (in my mind's eye) an edge or an advantage.  By this, I don't me to be better, but to have a reason to be someone.  To be worthy of being liked by them, to be of some sort of value because of what I have in my life because I am "certain" that me, by myself, is not good enough.

Newsflash to myself - none of that matters!  Not a lick of it. I sat at my desk the remainder of that day last week wondering why this need is so great in me.  Wondering why I am so bent on wanting to be somebody or something.  I could give a litany of reasons why I could blame factors from my youth, but the truth of it is, I own them, they do not own me.  My response to those things should not be that of a victim, but of a woman who uses them for the betterment of who she is.  Which brings me to the ultimate reason for any of it.  I don't know who I am in reference to whose I am.

What I know, knowledge wise has yet to meet what I know heart wise.  I have read and studied and learned so much about the Word of God, but I have not fully embraced or applied it.  Sure, I've picked up the bits that made sense, but not all of them which required me to give over the victimhood of who I am.  It is almost as if holding onto those factors allows me to be the person I want to be in front of others instead of the person God designed me to be.  And because it is just plain fact, this too is all rooted in pride.

So the question remains, to be or not to be, but the answer is so much easier when you have a firmer grasp of the who.

I apologize for any grammar errors...I wrote this before work and I am now officially running late!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Day 17: Change

I got today's prompt from Pinterest - surprise, surprise!  Funny thing about it, though, I actually thought of what I wanted to write about last night while I was trying to fall asleep.  Despite this, I told myself I was going to pick a random prompt and go with that instead.  Well, haha, looks like the topic I thought of last night sort of chose me today instead! The prompt I found was to talk about something you want to change about yourself.  Now, I will be the first to tell you there are many things, and while I could go on and on about all of them, there is one specific thing that has come to light repeatedly during the past 24 hours.

 Have you ever seen a two-year-old thrown a full-blown temper tantrum?  I don't mean one of those little arms crossed, pouty lip, crocodile tear stances.  No, I mean the lying on the floor, screaming their head off, kicking their little legs while crying with all of their might, temper tantrums which were more than likely caused by something as simple as them wanting apple juice instead of milk. Anyway, you get it.  (If not, go to youtube and type in temper tantrum...enjoy!)  I'm sure you are probably wondering what this has to do with the topic?  No?  Well, I can assure you at almost 40 I am not in the habit of lying on the ground while kicking and screaming over my juice cup.  However, I am quite capable of doing this in a more subtle way.

Like most toddlers, the cause of such tantrums is due to not getting your way. (I'm sure there is a political jab that could be entered here, but I'm going to let that go...) I'm pretty good at shrugging my shoulders and letting things slide on most occasions.  However, there is one thing that gets me fired-up every...single...time.  What is that, you ask?  Simply, waiting on the Lord.  Now, I've made it well known to just about every single person who will listen to me that my passion in life is teaching.  In fact, I may have written about it a large number of times over the years on this blog.  I have known, for quite some time, that in order to teach I have to meet a certain educational criterion.  I have done this.  I also know I need to have an age group and possibly a subject or two I want to teach.  Again, I have done this.  For brevity's sake, I'll not list everything, but I have attempted over the years to try and "teach" something.  I have not gotten to do this.

So, what does this have to do with temper tantrums?   Weeeellllll....let's just say I've held NOTHING back in sharing with the Lord how I feel about this.  In addition to this, I may have also shared the same amount, or something akin to it, with my Mr.  (Oh, he's a strong one - whose favorite phrase de jour is "stop it!"...Right?!)  Anyway, after a particularly ugly meltdown last night (read that - pout fest) I flitted through Pinterest and found a quote - uh huh - which I promptly shared with the Mr., who promptly told me I need to trust in the Lord and His timing.  Do you ever get sick of hearing that?  I do.  But wait, there's more. There's always more. This morning as I was spending time reading my Bible (I'm in Matthew) I was repeatedly reminded - with those brilliant red letters - of what lack of faith can do.  Oh, no, we are just getting started because here is where the insult is added to injury.  Later on in the day, when I got an opportunity to read my devotional, wouldn't you know it, BAM - in your face conviction.  Sometimes I just can't catch a break.

Today's devotional talked about what kind of prayers we need to be praying to the Lord.  Not just those simple, search my heart so I can know what needs to be given (yes I know those are not easy prayers - that was sarcasm) over to the Lord, but those prayers where you legitimately ask the Lord to fix the hard things. *GULP* People, I'm gonna be straight with you, the root of all temper tantrums, if you really look at them objectively, is Pride.  Yes, Pride!  (And I'm not talking about a group of lions here.) What is Pride?  It is thinking you know, or are better than, the one in authority. 

The pin I sent the Mr.
How does this all fit together?  Simply this.  If God has created a passion in me, given me a heartfelt desire, then I need to wait on Him to open the best doors for me.  I need to REST in Him.  I need to TRUST in Him. While I may not fully understand the why (it isn't my place to anyhow) I do need to fully understand He won't do me wrong.  He just won't.  It isn't in His nature.  Not a single bit. And why do I not do this?  Becuase, like a toddler, there is that part of me who thinks I know better. I think if I just keep going at it, or after it at a hundred miles per hour, then I will get what I want.  But the problem with that is by my doing this, what I am essentially doing in putting myself above Him...a place I was never meant to have. And until I stop struggling with Him for that place of supreme authority I will never be able to have the rest I need nor will He ever have all of me which He so very well deserves.

I want to tell you today was one of those days where I discovered a truth and will not falter ever again concerning it, but I'm human and therefore prone to misplacing myself in the midst of my circumstances.  But I can tell you this, I learned something new - I didn't know the way I was behaving was rooted in pride and that alone rocked me to the core.  For nothing more than the fact that I don't want to be that person.  (And a whole lot of the fact I really want to do what the Lord designed me to do and I want to do it the best way possible - which totally means I need to wait on Him to make it so!)

Food for thought.
- M