Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weary spirit

I didn't blog about Mother's Day or Father's Day this year. I usually do, and I'm not sure why I didn't. 

I had hoped to look back at Facebook and journals and compile an aggregate!! But it's almost a week after Father's Day, and I still haven't done it. 

The blog may be winding down. I want to be upbeat and optimistic and honest. But situations in life -- including friends losing loved ones; court rulings on social issues and impossible circumstances at work -- have been weighing down my mind. I keep praying and coming back to stand on my faith, but I end up mentally and spiritually exhausted.  And physically exhausted, too. 

Maybe I've just let myself get too tired. I hope that's all it is.

Nostalgic. 
Depressed. 
Grateful. 
Blessed. 

From Craig Denison's First 15 again:

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." Our God has peace in store for us in every situation if we will choose to keep our mind stayed on him and trust him. The world says that peace can only come when you've worked your fingers to the bone and have finally attained all you want. ... God's way is to draw you into himself and offer you peace in the midst of your circumstances. He doesn't want you to wait until everything gets worked out before you can have rest-- he's offering you rest right now.


 "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." (Psalm 23:1-3). 


Saturday, June 20, 2015

I'm one of those people

I have strong opinions about many things, but I tend to keep a lot of them to myself.

I tend to choose my words carefully. And, even though many people consider me talkative and I do sometimes speak up when others will not, there are many more times that I would like to speak but remain silent.

I tell myself the reason I stay silent is because I don't want to offend anyone. I want to be a peacemaker, and if I can't prayerfully find a way to do that, I lean toward keeping silent.

But just as strong a reason is fear. I fear being rejected or ostracized or condemned.

I don't think it makes me a hypocrite, but it does feel dishonest.

And now, here's what first brought this phrase -- "I'm one of those people" -- to my mind this week.

From Denison Forum on June 16:

A growing movement is calling for the acceptance and legalization of polygamy. The number of Americans who accept polyamory ("many loves," whether married or not) has doubled in recent years. According to a recent Gallup study, 63 percent in the U.S. now accept same-sex couples, up from 40 percent in 2001. Sixty-one percent are comfortable with the idea of having children out of wedlock, a 16-point increase from 2001. Sixty-eight percent view premarital sex as morally acceptable, compared to 53 percent in 2001. ...

It's not enough to accept the latest moral trends—we must embrace and endorse them, or pay the price. Mark Tooley, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, perceptively states: "Our postmodern secular culture, as it becomes more divorced from the constraints and wisdom of religion, is becoming more detached from reality and more angrily intolerant of any dissent from its evolving fantasies. Any skepticism about the secular elite's latest shibboleths is treated with horror and vociferous denunciation, followed sometimes by coercive efforts to silence or drive from public life the dissenters if they refuse to go silent."

What are we to do? Tooley: "Public dissent and mockery are important tools against pretentious falsehoods. Silence, especially from fear or indifference, only offers complicity. The Church, if committed to the Gospel and to genuine service to humanity, will be bold in reminding us all, despite the threats and harangues against it, that popular culture, even if armed with political and economic power, doesn't have the power to reinvent reality. Truth flows from the throne of God, Who is Himself Truth."

When we are "standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27), God uses our courage for his glory. G.K. Chesterton: "Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die."

Will you be courageous today?

I wasn't courageous on Tuesday.

I don't agree with cultural promotion of acceptance of homosexuality. I think the Bible speaks clearly on this issue.

But I stay silent.

Fear keeps me silent.

Am I being courageous today? Or foolish?

I just know for my integrity, I needed to take this step,carefully and prayerfully.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Oh no!

Uh-oh! I was checking to see if blog deadline was Sunday or later -- and I saw that it is today!!!

I've had a great week, but I was not at all prepared to write. 

One day at a time, life is good. 

Life is good, one day at a time. 

I have so much to be grateful for, and I am grateful. 

Highlights include working through challenges at work, and enjoying Relay for Life in Perry even though we got rained out. My time in Perry is always for a good cause -- walking and raising money and awareness for a cancer cure and support for those affected by cancer -- and then I get to spend time with my sister and her cats. 

And tonight I spent good time with my husband. 

So what's not to like? 

Oh yes!






Saturday, June 6, 2015

And still I trust You, Lord

"Well, me and my crew just worked 14 hours, pretty much straight through. And, hopefully, that's all I'm going to say about that. 
Except: I am still grateful to God for my hope -- yes, hope! -- that springs eternal." 

 Ya think? 
Yeah, right. 

 Well, that's what I wrote on Facebook about 1 a.m. Saturday. And I do hope that's all I write about the subject there.

 But that doesn't mean I won't look a little closer at Friday's epic workday and some other aspects of the preceding week. 

 Even after a second Friday in a row of incredibly long hours at work, I couldn't help but think: 
I really can't complain.
 And yet I did. 

 That (the problem with complaining) is something I'm going to keep working on. 

I had a whole list of good things I wrote down from the past week.

-- rebounding from the previous week's epic-seeming Friday at work  and still being productive Saturday and Sunday, 

-- last Saturday, that meant washing my hair in hopes of making it in for a trim (but stylist couldn't work me in); going to my 12-step meeting and walking about a mile to visit long-time friends later before going out to eat with Gene. 

-- Sunday; going to Texas for worship with Mom and other family members, then a niece's shower. Unexpected fun came with watching my nieces' kids kite-flying!!

-- Monday, not letting feeling tired keep me from going after work to a 12-step meeting and buying groceries. 

-- Thursday, after a long workday and even though I was running late, I headed north to Edmond to see the Gridiron Club's roast of politics and current events. I used to be in these shows, and I always see dear friends. I'm glad I did not pass up the chance to go. 

-- Saturday, after working those 14 hours, I still had a great day. I went to my support group meeting; got my hair trimmed; spent great time with the kitties at Second Chance; washed my car; practiced some of the new work techniques that I never find time to practice at work; walked; and did some things around the house. 

Of course, before yesterday was over, thoughts of what I missed,  and how self-focused many of my activities were,  nagged me. I missed choir practice Wednesday and wasn't invited to a wedding Saturday,  where I would have seen many of my friends, including some I haven't seen in a long time. 

God, this makes me question how I am and feel defective. 

But I'm going to trust You that I either am where I'm supposed to be, or You can lead me into a better way. 

(But I truly regret missing seeing some old friends  and just being part of the big event, more than regretting being part of that particular wedding. That's honest of where I am the morning after. And that's part of what feels defective. Why am I not more connected to that wonderful family that got married. So many of my flaws at play. And still I trust You, Lord.)

And hope does spring eternal.
And still I trust You, Lord.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

A new month -- and still one day at a time

From a facebook page called Spiritual Inspirations:
June 1
New week. 
New month. 
New blessings. 
God is good. 

That's how I feel, I thought when I read it this morning. 

But by the end of the day, after a 12 Step meeting, I was back to the importance of living one day at a time. Just for today. 

Do I love God?
Do I trust God?
There is therefore no need for me to compare or worry or judge. Just be. And be grateful. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

More a-May-zing

Reflections on the final day of May. Clouds. 
Baptisms and confirmations and professions of faith. 
Majesty, Change My Heart Oh God, praise, prayer, faith and fellowship. 
Kite-flying with kids. 
Showers of presents in anticipation of a baby boy. 
A mother's love never ends ... and it is such a rich blessing. 
The love and compassion of siblings and their families. 
30-plus inches of rain in 25 or so days ... swollen rivers ... scary puddles ...

Reminders that it's time to put work into its place. I'm not sure how -- but I really need to find a way. Crazy as it seems, I've sometimes concluded God must want me to be spending the extra time I spend at work. I seem unable to keep it from happening, so maybe it is in his plan and He is working it for good. Perhaps? I just know I'm glad I didn't let my tiredness from last week and potential anxiety about next week keep me from doing some things  this weekend. I almost did let it, and  I have been missing things I would like to do, because I basically put work first. 
As I wrote yesterday, May started well. and it is ending well. There were some rough patches in between. I want to not feel let down or discouraged by  stormy days, long hours at work, and ball games that don't end well for my team. And I sure don't want to let those kinds of things distract me from doing what my heart desires: worshipping, praising and serving God; enjoying family and friends, serving and caring for those in need; and enjoying music, words and nature. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

a-May-zing

May has been a roller-coaster ride. It started with the wedding weekend with beautiful weather in Arkansas, and I came home to rain and storms that continued for the most part until a couple   of days ago. But now it looks like the month will also end with a weekend of beautiful weather, and as a result, I'm hoping to make another out-of-state road trip. Unlike the four-night stay in Little Rock and Greenwood, Arkansas, this will be a day trip to Gainesville, Texas. The highlight again will be family. 

And suddenly the malaise created by weather and work anxiety dissipates, if just for the moment. And as always, I am grateful.