Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wow...I'm just realizing how long it has been since I have written anything at all. A few people have asked about my writing and why I stopped, and the only answer I could come up with is that I have writer's block. I have had the desire to write but really nothing to write about. I've thought many times that I should write something just because...but in all reality, every time I have thought about writing "just anything"...I immediately follow it up with "who wants to read about my boring life?" Even I find my life boring at this moment! LOL
But, I guess the better perspective would be this...God has blessed me with a quiet lull in my life after the major storm that Jay and I endured for such a long time...and then I went through even more after that...so this is my "lull" season. I rejoice in that.
So what is happening in my life right now?
I still love my job at my church! New opportunities are beginning to open up to me and growth is happening in my position. I love it when I am able to do new things, in addition to the old things all while serving the Lord at the same time!
My roomie and I are getting ready to move to a new apartment next weekend. We are excited for this change. We will be closer to the church, and I will be closer to my mom and niece so I can help them with all of their daily happenings. Kristin (my roomie) and I have been praying for a while about being better stewards with the money the Lord has given to us, and this apartment is the solution to that. It happens to be the same apartment complex that Jay and I lived in many MANY years ago. When Kristin and I walked around the complex, it looked different but had the same feel. I felt such a peace and that gave me the ability to exhale with delightful nostalgic memories running through my mind and heart. So next week, another new chapter can be added to my life story.
I am currently looking forward to helping my 14 year old niece adjust to being a freshman in high school. (Yikes! How did THAT happen?!) Being closer allows me to spend more time helping her with homework or just being a mentor. I love Aly so much and would absolutely DIE for her. She is an amazing girl; very smart and has a heart of gold. She dreams of being a K-9 cop...so I will do all I can to help her to attain that goal. Lots of hard work ahead of us, but we will do it. There will be extra work on my part as I try to keep her focused on her dream and not on BOYS! This girl is gorgeous and has started gaining the attraction of boys...I feel as though the sharks are circling BUT I have my bat in hand, ready to strike any one of them that tries any funny business with my girl! LOL I realize the whole "boyfriend thing" is inevitable...EVENTUALLY...but not now. She is too young! But she has a good head on her shoulders and is making very wise choices at this point regarding boys...I'm just praying it continues.
And as for me...well...life has carried on, I am feeling more like myself...not exactly the old me...but more like an "I've-been-through-a lot-and-I-have-learned-and-taken-notes-and-actually-applied-them" wiser version of the old me. I am a little more serious about things. I think more critically about things. I reason more and act a little less out of my emotions. (still a work in progress but improvement is improvement and I'll take it!) I am less attached to "things" and see the bigger picture MUCH more clearly. Having someone you love in heaven will do that to ya! The greatest realization has been...nothing is more important than God...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! So HE will continue to be my greater focus in my life. I will serve Him as I have been, and prayerfully a little more in the coming days/months/years as He sees fit.
I care a little bit more about myself these days too...started taking vitamins, eating a little better (a little), have lost 10 lbs and have a desire to start exercising. WHAT?! LOL! I just want to be healthier and help myself to generally feel good. I am beginning to desire to experience my life again instead of just existing in it and moving around like a robot. I actually SMILE more! That's nice. I was beginning to think that I was not going to feel joy in my heart again. God is amazing in His restorative efforts!
And along with all of this...brace yourselves...I have started feeling the desire to have someone special in my life again. And NO! There is no one currently even in my thought process!! So there better not be any rumors of me having a boyfriend or anything of the sort! LOL! But, in embracing my singleness, I read the book, Choosing God's Best and there is a sentence in there that I have tucked in my heart..."Don't worry about finding the right person; concentrate on being the right person for someone and let the Lord do the rest." Wow! Can you say, "Game-changer"??! I miss the companionship of a special someone, but I want my focus to be on who the Lord has for me, and how I may add to that person's life and NOT on setting out to find that person myself. My concentration is going to be on making the changes the Lord points out that need to be made in me, and maintaining the attributes the Lord identifies as being "attractive" to Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that the Lord has a plan for me...let's see what He has in store! I'm listening, Lord...
Friday, March 25, 2011
A potter who throws clay on a pottery wheel sometimes has no idea what he is about to build, but he takes a big, shapeless glob of clay and throws it onto the center of the wheel knowing that with the work of his hands and some manipulation he will eventually come out with something...a vase, a bowl, a cup...many possibilities. It is all about the skill of the potter and the temperament of the clay.
The Word tells us in Isaiah 64:8, "Yet O Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay; You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand." I have never identified more with clay in my entire life than I do right this minute! I envision God, the Potter, sitting at the wheel, with me as the shapeless glob of clay spinning out of control with no structure...spinning, spinning, spinning - no real direction or purpose. Then the Lord sets His loving hands upon me, firm but gentle. No longer spinning aimlessly and out of control, the rough edges begin to smooth out. As I begin to take shape with a solid foundation and a bit of structure, He releases the firm grip and exchanges it with the loving touch of His finger in the center as if pointing to the core of me to say, "You are mine and you will be formed to serve my purposes." With His finger touching on the center and the core being exposed, the junk that is inside has no place else to go but to be purged out.
Until very recently, I lost my direction. I lost my drive. I lost my purpose. Well...I guess I didn't lose them...I just kind of set them aside in my exhaustion from fighting against my new life. The first year after Jay died was a breeze compared to this second year. Last Summer, in the beginning of the second year, my grief seemed to really take hold of me and I was filled with feelings of being lost, not belonging anywhere, going through the motions of my new life but not really living my life. I was trying to give glory to the Lord, but I don't know that it was all truly felt in my heart.
I basically was angry with God that I had to start my life all over again and try to figure out who I am if I'm not "Jay's wife." I spent literally half of my life with this man and now I have to try and figure out what to do in this life on my own. Who the heck am I? Yes, I am a child of God...but if you feel lost and without a sense of purpose, what do you do with that? Well, the Lord has been busy showing me what being a child of God really means.
It means that when I fall apart, walk away, and give up on myself - He is there with endless love and compassion just waiting for me to make the decision to return to Him for my comfort and rebuilding.
Jeremiah 18:4 says, "The pot he [the potter] was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the Lord. Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel."
Every time I do something to change the depth, the shape, the structure of our relationship - He is faithful to take me down to the foundation of my being, Jesus Christ - who saved me from my sins, and remind me that I am loved no matter what I do and once I take hold of His promises again, He begins to rebuild on that foundation.
I am in the rebuilding stage now. I have returned to Him for my comfort; and I am realizing...again...that He truly does love me and just because I was angry with Him doesn't mean that He is looking at me with condemnation (that's from the enemy), but rather, He is looking at me with loving eyes saying, "I will rebuild you from scratch with My own hands."And maybe who I will be is somebody different from who I was before, but if God can restore Job after all that he went through and not only restore him but create a better life for him than he had before - I'm totally on board with that and trusting Him to do just that for me!
So while an earthly potter looks at the clay and doesn't know exactly what he will come out with in the end; our heavenly Potter knows, even before He begins, what masterpiece will stand before Him when His work is done.
His work in me is far from being done, but I am beginning to see some changes. The spark has been ignited and He is fanning the flame. I long to spend time with the Lord, learning about Him, and I am seeking to be about His business again. He has given me the desire to serve Him with the gifts I have been blessed with. My heart is beginning to actually feel again and open up. He is using me to encourage people through their trials, which is what I have always loved to do!
And He has given me something to write about again. It's difficult to write about these things that don't necessarily shed a great light on me or my selfish behavior, but the glory belongs to the Lord for what He will accomplish through this.
The rebuilding and restoration has begun. This is just the first phase...stay tuned...