Friday, June 14, 2013

So, this is June .....

So, this is June.


The month started with sunshine, and after the way May stormed out, I was grateful and relieved.

And I still am filled with appreciation for warm (some would say hot) sunny days that beckon me for outdoor walks and topdown rides.

Unfortunately, some of my usual, annoying companions also have journeyed into June with me, and there also is an unexpected arrival. I try to be gracious and find a place in my spirit and life to welcome these characters, believing I can find a blessing in anything if only I keep my focus on and faith in God.

But so far this hasn't been easy.

Who, you may ask, are these uninvited companions?

While I won't be naming names, I will describe the one that seems to be making everything else worse. It is a companion of aging that I thought I had said goodbye to forever about a year ago. But I guess it will still come to visit occasionally for a while longer. At least now that I've identified this visitor (to myself) I won't be surprised when I notice how it leaves things sometimes awry and out of whack in my life, physically and emotionally.

The others are some of the usual suspects that shouldn't surprise me but always do. Uncertainty. Tiredness. Difficulty making decisions. Procrastination. Frustration. There are many more, but they seem to have slipped from my mind right now.

These are some of the things they are standing in the way of:

-- Father's Day is Sunday. People are starting to put tributes to their Dad on Facebook. I don't even know where to begin. I miss him. He is no longer with us in this life. I don't have time to cry. I am grateful for memories and for lessons I carry with me that I know are from him.

-- How to help out with tornado recovery. I did finally give some money, and I plan to buy at least 4 tickets to the big concert planned July 6 in Norman, even if I decide it's too hot to go. (Yes, it's at 3 p.m. on the Saturday of July 4 weekend.) I find myself questioning my priorities, but I'm pretty sure I will get these tickets if any are available when I get up next Friday morning. (They go on sale at 10 a.m. June 21, and I probably won't be up yet, if next Thursday's work shift is anything like the most recent ones.)

-- Relay for Life of Noble County is June 28 in Perry, OK. I am on the Orange Crush team. I have done very little to help raise funds. With all the demands for funds to help people recover from the tornadoes, I'm unsure of the priority of taking time and money for cancer research right now. I mean, that will always be with us, or so it seems, but the tornado concerns are more immediate. But I will walk, and I will put out a plea for funds. I will resurrect my song videos ("C-U-R-E" and "(Relay) Walking After Midnight," if nothing else) and post them on Facebook. But I haven't been able to shake the feeling that I'm just going through the motions this year.

-- Quality time with my husband. We are making some progress -- including actually having lunch together for his birthday on a day I worked until past midnight. But overall, this week seems to be conspiring against me doing much of anything besides work, eat and sleep.

-- Oh, yes: work. I guess the bottom line is that my uncertainty, tiredness, difficulty making decisions, procrastination, frustration and other defects keep me trapped in a situation that right now seems unrealistically demanding. I am in one of those places where the balance of life swings way too far toward work. I want to believe this is just temporary, but it's been going on since before May 20, and there really are no signs of anything changing. I appreciate my job and for the most part enjoy it and engage in it with a passion, believing it is where God has planted me, at least for now, and continually seeking His guidance on how He wants to use me.

Something I do even on the days when I seem most tired and unsure of what to do is read Scriptures and daily devotions. Recent days have included many on slowing down, trusting God and resting in God. A theme I keep hearing on Christian radio is "don't try so hard."

One of the things I read today seems particularly fitting as I need to close this out (yes, it's 2:15 p.m. and work beckons; Lord, forgive me if I've misplaced my priorities again). It's from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. His writing isn't easy for me to understand sometimes, but neither are my own words. It's based on John 15:4 -- "Abide in Me ...:

Think of the things that take you out of the position of abiding in Christ. You say, “Yes, Lord, just a minute — I still have this to do. Yes, I will abide as soon as this is finished, or as soon as this week is over. It will be all right, Lord. I will abide then.” Get moving— begin to abide now. In the initial stages it will be a continual effort to abide, but as you continue, it will become so much a part of your life that you will abide in Him without any conscious effort. Make the determination to abide in Jesus wherever you are now or wherever you may be placed in the future.

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