Saturday, September 18, 2010

~growing pains~

This week has been a tough week.  Not like you would think.  Not much different than usual, except unusually spiritually and emotionally tough. 

Last week was our first week at Bible Study Fellowship and it was wonderful.  It's always good to come back after summer break and grow in God's Word with other women.  This year we're studying Isaiah, a new study that they haven't done before.  I was so excited to get my first lesson last Saturday morning at leader's meeting.  Usually I come straight home and read the notes, but it was a busy day so I waited until Sunday evening.  One of the first things the notes mentioned was that tradition says that Isaiah was "sawn in two in a tree he had taken refuge in."  Really?  That's when the weight of the book hit me.  Not that I haven't respected God's Word before, but I've heard of the deaths of the New Testament writers.  I honestly hadn't heard this one before, and if this is a man who is willing to hide in a tree and be sawn in two to pass on God's Word.....well, I'd better listen to him! 

That night I dreamed of being chased through a forest and taking refuge in a tree.  I wasn't sawn in two in my dream (thank goodness), but I woke up with a real sense of fear.  I laid awake for a very long time honestly pondering whether or not to continue in the study of Isaiah.  It seems silly, but I really wanted to just meet with God everyday, meet with women every week - no drama.  After sleeping on it, I came to my senses and realized that simply meeting with God without "drama" probably equals no growth, as well.

I began to pray that God use this study of Isaiah to grow me (which should have been my prayer all along), but really had, and still have no idea what that means.  All week I've thought of that dream and what it might mean.  After reading Isaiah chapter 1 and reading about the corrupt leaders and national sin, I began to ask myself if I would be willing to speak Truth so boldly that I would have reason to fear for my life.  Would I?  I probably won't be put in that position, but what if God called me like He called Isaiah?  No matter what the cost.  It's a matter of life and death - either mine or the nation's. 

Last night as I finished up my lesson and homiletics, God grabbed me this time and wouldn't let go.  I had saved a question from a previous day.  Not recommended, but it seemed like a heavy question for the day it was given.  God knew when I would need it.  The question was, "List specific situations of oppression and injustice and ways you can help."  Easy enough, right?  I began making the list, but God kept bringing other ministry ideas to mind.  I realized quickly that this list is endless!  As I read over the list, I realized that even though everything listed was dear to my heart (AIDS orphans, domestic violence, human trafficking, world hunger, providing clean water to areas of the world without it, helping with financial hardships for single or widowed parents....), I knew anything I've ever done hasn't even put a dent in the need.  And I hadn't even finished the list, I just ran out of room.  This list could go on and on.  I wept.  Not just a little.  As Glen was studying at the church and the kids were in bed, I sat by myself on my bed and wept over the list God had given me.  I texted Glen, "I quit.  This is too hard!"  He replied, "WOW, must be a tough study!"  Yes, but after much pleading with God, He spoke to my heart..."Isn't growth tough?"

I don't know if God was testing me to make sure I'm ready for the ride, or if Satan was wrestling with me so I would quit.  Whichever isn't important, only that I'm not quitting. 

I spoke with Glen today about how burdened I am and we agree that our family has to do more.  How much more is yet to be revealed by God.  I don't know what He has planned for our family through the study of Isaiah, but I know I can't quit now.  I'm so pumped!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

~bad habits and busyness~

I've developed a new bad habit.  Actually, I'm not even sure I can call it that.  You decide....

We homeschool our kids, so life has gotten busier in the last few weeks since school began.  Gone are the lazy days of summer (Ha! As if....).  We're back to business (or should I say busyness?).  While I would like to tell you how organized and efficient I am as a wife and mom, I'd be lying.  I am the type of person that works better from a list - but most days I can't even find it!  Lately I've been known to have 3 or 4 partial lists, because I've misplaced the previous ones!  This is so frustrating!  I'm not really sure how it just does.  (That sounded so much like my ten year old son!)  My husband thinks I'm crazy.  Oh, he doesn't say it, but the look on his face says it all.  It's not uncommon for him to be going through the mail or a book and find one of my lists - from weeks or even months prior!  No kidding!

Recently I've added a new bad habit, though.  My laundry room is all the way in the back of my house.  Out of the way, which is good.....and bad.  My laundry routine lately is to:

1. Take the clothes out of the dryer and put them in a basket. 

2. Put the clothes from the washer into the dryer and start the dryer. 

3. Start the water in the washer along with a capful of liquid detergent (so that the detergent is dilluted by the time I get the clothes into the washer.)

4. Leave laundry room with intentions of collecting dirty clothes from our bedrooms.

5. Bring basket of clothes from the dryer into the living room to fold, then put away. 

6. Forget all about the fact that the washing machine is filling up and proceed with other duties. 

7.  Go to sleep and wake up.  Begin again at #1 - only to realize the soapy water has been sitting in my washing machine overnight! 

Ewww!  There is no way I am washing clothes in that water!  I am wasting so much water......and soap!  I'm trying to remember to take a basket of clothes with me when I first go to the laundry room - but I'm finding it hard to change my ways!  Am I going crazy?  Please tell me I'm not the only one that's this forgetful!


Monday, September 6, 2010

~passing on a post~

Just wanted to share my husband's latest blogpost.  It's not often that he blogs, so I like to pass it on when he does:)  Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

~don't cry over

We have a neighbor who's a young mom of two.  She's in the process of a divorce and she's recently gone back to school.  I know she must be exhausted, but I usually can't think of many ways to help.  Since we homeschool, I don't have much free time to give.

Last week, she was mowing her lawn and her mower broke mid-lawn.  There was just this giant square of tall grass in the middle of her front yard.  I felt so bad for her, but thought her dad would help her out.  A few days later, Glen offered to mow it for her on Friday when he mowed ours.  What an opportunity to teach our kids to reach out.  I was so proud of Riley!  While Glen used the weed-eater, Riley mowed her lawn.  Everything was going just as Glen had planned, until a stick or rock flew up and busted out the back windshield of my car. 

Uggh!  What are you gonna do?  Right after our discussion about the money we need to put back for our trip to Chicago in November (for my brother's wedding), and the shower I'm giving his fiance in October, and well, let's not forget Christmas......BAM!

The hardest part was the initial conversation.  I heard Glen tell Riley to wait on the porch and "whatever you do, don't come in."  As he began to tell me the story of what happened, I jumped to conclusions and thought Riley was hurt.  I began to tear up, only to find out it was only the window.  I think that may have been his plan:)

Glen cleaned up the glass and covered the opening as neatly as he could with a trash bag (until we bought a drop cloth, which was much better) and bright green tape (Hey!  It's what we had!).  I wasn't embarrassed (okay, maybe a little),  but it was so annoying.  It was really noisy and every time I picked up speed, it inflated like a parachute!

Monday morning, I was taking Grayson to orchestra class at the junior high and we couldn't hear each other over the racket in the back!  I said, "I'm really sorry about this Grayson.  I know it's embarrassing to be dropped off with a trash bag on the window."  Words cannot begin to describe my feelings regarding her reaction.  She said, "Why would I be embarrassed?  This is just life, Mom.  No biggee".  What did she say?  Are you kidding me?

Glen and I talked about her reaction and he said, "Would you have been embarrassed at her age?"  I don't know.  I hope not, but I see so much shallowness on television, that I guess I made the assumption that she would be.  Shame on me! 

The neighbor bought our family pizza for helping her!  What a blessing!  The window was fixed yesterday, and even though I would rather have not spent the money on a new window, we got a good deal on it (Thanks, God) and I learned a little something about my daughter - and me.  Lessons don't come cheap around our house:)