When I picked this word, I didn't intend for it to mean - Lord, please stretch me as far as you can. But, that is how I have felt this week.
I am not even sure why everything has hit me so hard? Hormones have played a part in it, yes. Lack of sleep has also played a part in it.
I know there is struggle in the world. I know there is cancer. We've had financial problems before. We've had rough decisions to make. But, it has all hit in the last week. And, I have crumbled. And I have asked my husband to just love me and ignore my unstable emotions.
A friends funeral on Sunday. Another dear friend diagnosed with brain cancer on Thursday - a terrible brain cancer with 12 months to live. A struggle in our own family. Financial suffocation. Hard decisions to make. A nephew hospitalized with a crap disease he will struggle with the rest of his life. Another friend in ICU struggling after major throat surgery. Anxiety waiting on Daegan's next brain MRI for clearance. Intense vertigo and migraines, most likely brought on by the stress.
For me, and my tender emotions these days, a very rough week. But, mostly, an exhausting week full of, just to be honest, anger . My prayers have been anything but glorifying and thankful. I'm angry about these situations and, frankly, tired of the same old stress and hurt.
It is ironic, tho, because I do have a temper. People view me as laid back, which I am in so many ways. But, I have Caines blood. And I just went thru a discipline session with my 8-yr old this weekend for his temper. And he was being so ridiculous, I was almost laughing at him.
But God is not laughing at me. He his hears my angry prayers and he waits for me He is merciful and just. And thus I cry some more. I have been so frustrated and angry and sad. When I opened my devotion this morning and read, "every time we lose ground with our fellowship with Jesus Christ, it is because we disrespectfully thought we knew better." And that was a similar message in our sermon yesterday too.
Yes, I am a control freak.
It has been a struggle for me this week. My children have seen me cry for about the last six days straight. I even took Friday off of work because I told the guys I "just couldn't do it today". Jason just holds me tight, as he knows there isn't much more to do.
Why do I share this?
Because, it is where we are right now, and journaling is what I do. I am being real and open and honest. I pray I can look back at this in a month and say "wow, I really learned a lot that month about trusting the Lord." And, sometimes, after I've processed a little and prayed a lot, journaling is my big step to healing my mind and moving past the anger and tears.
One last thing that really spoke to me this week was posted by a friend. She was posting it to herself, but it spoke volumes to me :
BE ON GUARD against the pit of self pity. When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face. Don't even go near the edge of the pit. It's edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down. It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit then to keep a safe distance from it. That is why I tell you to be on guard. There are several ways to protect yourself from self-pity. When you are occupied with praising and thanking Me (God), it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself. Also, the closer you live to Me, the more distance there is between you and the pit. Live in the Light of My Presence by fixing your eyes on Me. Then you will be able to run with endurance the race that is set before you, without stumbling or falling
Crystal invited me to participate in a free haircut. All I had to do was "model" for a class.
I was game. I wanted a haircut, but didn't have the money, so it sounded good to me! Plus, I got to hang out with Crystal! I don't think I would have been as happy without Crystal, but with her there, we laughed a lot!
The class was supposed to be at 3:00 and it didn't start until 4:30. Then, the teacher (a hair specialist from Paris) went thru each model and was teaching the hair stylists how to read their clients and decide what was best for them. For me, he decided I was Trendy (not Sophisticated) but I was Business (not Homemaker). I was ok with that description. Then, he said, pointing to my clogs, and in a French accent, "I just don't know why she wear those ugly shoes". Ha! All I could do was laugh - and be glad for my confidence!
With the start of the new year, I was asked to join an online group called "One Word". Some of the girls I know, some of them I sorta know, and some I do not know at all. We have all been asked to pick one word we will focus on in 2015, and throughout the year, we will share with one another how we strive for that word, Spiritually.
There is no schedule, just share as you feel led. It is a private message board and you can share as you can, read as you can and respond to others as you can.
So far, I have been blessed to be a part of this group.
My word, Resilient. It was the word that came to me immediately when asked to join but I waited a few days trying to search out the perfect word. I couldn't decide if it was a negative or a positive. The reason being was when I looked up the definition it said "able to spring back into shape after being stretched". I want to be more flexible to what The Lord has in store for me. I want to be tougher and able to be stretched. But I don't want to "spring back" exactly how I was. I want to grow from those experiences. Resilient is a good word for me, but resilient...and learning. Not resilient and growing hard or numb toward God. When I saw on the list of antonyms it said rigid and stiff, I felt more comfortable choosing RESILIENT as my word.
Some other words: Diligent, Go, Trust, Identity, Strong, Detox, Surrender, Engage, just to name a few.
Some of the posts already shared have been huge encouragements for me. Encouraging to see what others are struggling with, as odd as that may sound? Encouraging to have these ladies praying for me even tho they do not know me. Encouraging to hear some of their experiences and lessons they have learned.
This was my first post, just to share:
With the confession by Kim regarding bible reading, it made me think. Many of us are probably in the same boat. I know I am! I have a form of dyslexia that makes reading comprehension hard and I think I use that as an excuse often. I either have to read easy bible studies or read one passage in the bible twenty times to understand it. Kim's post made me determined to get my butt in the Word in 2015. This morning, I sat down to read, with thoughts of reading something like Psalms or Proverbs, but my app was open in Esther. I am a preacher's kid, but I am terrible at knowing the details of bible stories. I don't retain that information well. I decided to start in Esther 1 and refresh my memory. I ended up reading the whole book. Wow! My word is RESILIENCE. And what a perfect picture Esther is of being stretched and pulled but always staying in true form of what is right. Read Esther if you haven't lately. Ironically, that is my middle name...
I don't do resolutions, I don't think? Do I say that every year, but make a list anyway? I am a list maker. You would think that New Year's Resolutions would be my thing....
So, why do "resolutions" scare people?
I think it is because people feel like a failure when they don't follow thru? I looked up the definition of resolution and here is what the dictionary said:
1) a firm decision to do or not do something
2) the action of solving a problem
Easy enough? *sigh*
I like making lists. I like solving problems. And, my kids will tell you, if I decide on something, it is a firm decision. But, "resolutions" are hard.
I am going to make a list of 2015 Goals. Is that cowardly? Or just realistic?
Definition of goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result So, my 2015 Goals ~
Pray Big - if you've been around me at all, you know that prayer is huge for me and I wouldn't survive without that aspect in my life. 2014 was challenging and the last sermon preached at CPC actually challenged us to pray big - just another reminder.
Meal Planning - I know that is a huge step down from "prayer" but it is vital for our family and something I struggle with immensely as a working mom. I really must get better at purposefully grocery shopping trips and good meal plans. It would really help us stay on budget too. Suggestions welcome
Budget better - always a goal
Reflecting Christ in my Roles:
Supportive Wife - I am supportive of Jason, but I am also very stubborn and opinionated and disrespectful sometimes. I cringe sometimes at myself, but I am too stubborn in the moment to fix it. Lord, forgive me
Honorable Mother - I try to be the mother my children need, but I know I often fail. I love them dearly and try to "fill their love tanks" individually, but I put work before them, I let my stress out on them, and I yell often. Lord, forgive me.
Respectable Employee - I am really good at my job when I give 100%. I often have a bad attitude because I never wanted to be a working Mom, but I need to be thankful for the flexibility of my job and the income it brings into our home. Lord, forgive me.
Weight Loss - this is a personal goal that I set out on last Christmas. I wanted to take it very slowly. I needed/wanted to lose a certain amount the first year and then hoped to get back into exercise the second year and lose the second half (my history has been to start hard aerobics at my heaviest, hurt myself and be set back for months). Well, in 2014, I lost 40 lbs. So proud, but onto 2015 to get fit while I lose the second half.
So, 2015, here I come! I know you will bring challenges toward each one of my goals, but I pray I can stay focused on Christ above all things and remember to PRAY BIG!