Sabbath

Today I am juggling a lot of different responsibilities as I do on most Wednesday’s.  I am preparing tomorrow’s assignments, working in my office at the church, and packing to go to Campbell.  For many years Wednesday’s have been my busy, busy day.

How appropriate that today I read a chapter in my Bible study book concerning Sabbath and rest.  How ironic that on a busy Wednesday I even took time to read the chapter.  Yet I come away from my time with God today recognizing that I need to make the most of my moments to rest.

In the small Southern town where I grew up, people rarely went to the movies, cut grass, or for the longest time even sewed on Sunday’s.  My generation no longer follows these traditions as closely, but I still remember what a special day Sunday was to my grandparents.

Most people enjoy naps, sports games, or time outdoors on Sunday afternoons.  From time to time, I enjoy these and similar activities on Sunday afternoons.  However, my Sunday’s are full of worship services, meetings, and spending time with children and their families.  I love spending time with families and I appreciate my calling, but I need to recognize that I still need to rest.

I promised that after Thanksgiving I would report back about my journey to gain a better perspective.  Well, I admit that I am still on this particular journey, and I may be on this journey for quite some time actually.

I hope in the next few weeks to pause for a few moments of Sabbath rest and gain a deeper perspective.  I will continue to keep you posted on my journey, and I appreciate your prayers as I continue to seek to have a balanced life.

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Born to Teach

God created me to be me.  I’ll just waste time if I try to be someone else.  I’ll continue to be discouraged if I keep wondering why I am not as gifted or as talented as someone else.

Yet, one thing in my life that I am certain about is that I was born to teach!  I am blessed with the opportunity right now to teach children more about God and teach adults English.  I am content when I teach.  I am blessed when the Kids Cafe children spontaneously embrace me and each other in a gigantic group hug.

Teaching comes with challenges.  I come from a legacy of family members who have invested countless hours into the lives of children within our public school system.  I have listened to them talk about children that came from tough home lives, so tough putting them back on the school bus to go home was difficult.

Also, my student teaching experience was one challenge after another.  Yet those eighteen  kindergarten children will forever have a spot in my heart.  I helped comfort children during their first few days of school.  I taught one child how to write an “e” in the correcti direction.  I learned so much from the children and how they loved to play and enjoy life.  I don’t think I learned all I needed to learn from Kindergarten, but I did learn a lot from eighteen Kindergarten children.

I am on a journey of gaining perspective.  I have a clearer perspective when I recognize who I am and my strengths.  Perhaps a honest person could make an endless list of their weaknesses, but I believe a strong person (unless pride takes over) is one that can recognize her strengths and celebrate them.

I celebrate that God created me.  I revel in the truth that I was born to teach.  I rejoice in that fact that God has called me to be me.

I challenge you to celebrate your strengths tonight and thank God that you have been created to be uniquely you!

Interruptions

Today I was going about my regular routine, and suddenly, my peaceful Friday evening was interrupted with life.  My jaw clenched, my shoulder muscles tensed, my mind raced, and tears streamed down my face.  My body was responding to my emotions.

And so I let my evening be interrupted.  Instead of going to the grocery store I went straight home.  Instead of doing homework I chatted with one friend on Facebook, with one friend on the phone, and with Adam on Skype.  I let myself cry for as long as I needed.  I allowed myself the moments to just be.

Often when I become upset, I do not have the luxury to sit and process things uninterrupted.  However, tonight I allowed myself the freedom to cry, to be angry with how things have happened, and to ask God and myself hard questions.  My emotions and questions were about more than just tonight.  My interruption tonight brought much up to the surface.  I dealt with it so hopefully it will not resurface again later.

I am thankful for those in my life who never see me as an interruption.  The folks in my life who are always there for me are invaluable.  My closest friends and family have seen me cry countless tears and throw numerous fits.  Yet these same people are the ones who listen to me, encourage me, and empower me.  And recently I have been able to listen to these same folks share about their life interruptions.  A true blessing is when you are able to give back to someone in the same way that he or she has given to you.

Tomorrow will be a new day.  God’s mercies will be new, and joy will come in the morning.  I will spend tomorrow surrounded by children and their chaperones, 120 total, who will learn more about the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand and more about missions.  I am looking forward to a great day of getting to know the children that I minister to better…even if there are a few of life’s interruptions along the way.

Perspective

Every other Saturday morning I have the awesome privilege of participating in a Bible study for women facilitated by the amazing Katina.  Over the past few weeks we have been using Lysa Terkeurst’s recent book and workbook: Unglued.

Today our study centered around how a healthy perspective can make a difference in how we act and react in difficult circumstances.  When our perspectives are on God we are less likely to say and do things that we will regret later.

As I pause for a few moments today, I am reminded of how often I lose my perspective.  I am blessed with a wonderful apartment and lack for none of life’s essentials while individuals in the Northeast lost everything due to Hurricane Sandy.  I am surrounded by wonderful friends and family while others are alone and lonely.

I am known for sweating the small stuff, majoring on the minors, and stressing out about little things, but what would happen if I took the challenge to strive for a healthy perspective in all things?  Can I stop trying to control everything and rather let God be the one in control?  I long to live free and without the strain of minutia.

So I am humbly commit to focusing on having a healthy perspective between now and Thanksgiving.  God is asking me to stop controlling things and to be still in His awesome presence.

I hesitate to document my commitment in the blog format to be shared with others.  Yet I recognize the strength of others, like Jamee Miller and Deanna Deaton, who have been vulnerable in their blogs and encouraged me and many others.  So I confes I am a control freak in need of God’s transforming power in my life.

I promise to write another blog after Thanksgiving about my journey of letting God have control of each detail of my life.  Between now and then, please pray that I would have a healthy perspective and let God lead.

“Be still and KNOW that I am God!”  Psalm 46:10