Friday, September 21, 2007

Flakey- Just Not Frosted

What a total flake I feel like I have been lately. There have been few commitments I have been able to keep and at times I feel like I am letting everyone down. There are days and times I think I just need to lock myself up in the house an not tell anyone I will do anything because I don't know from one day to the next what will be going on. Since I am the primary care-giver of the boys, if childcare does not work out I am the one who has to turn her back on whatever it was I was supposed to be doing. Or, if we have said we were going to be somewhere, and CJ "over rules" what we have pre-planned, guess who has to re-nig on her commitment.

I am sore about trying to get things going and then having to uproot. Leaving the 'ville is not the first time either. Just as we were beginning to warm up in Birmingham, we left there too. Granted, I wasn't as heart-broken, but nonetheless, it was a bit frustrating. It really makes me not want to try to go out and do things. Although, I feel like this time, CJ is forced to stay here in Columbia due to the hell we have been through in getting here. As I strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, I am surprised at how when I read about her, certain aspects of her life that stand out in different seasons of my life more than some of the others. Here is what is standing out these days:

1- All that she did was over her lifetime. I get so caught up with all that this woman did I forget it was not all at once. I was raised around women who made everyone think they could do it all. You know, "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up, serve it, and clean up after it's been eaten." The reality is something always suffers. We can do anything, but we can't do everything. Why do we feel, as women, we should be able to or have to do everything. For me, it's the fear of being labeled "lazy" or missing out on something. Sadly, my fear of missing out makes me miss out on what is truly important. It's about quality for me,not quantity. If I had 100 bad years to live versus 30 great, I wold choose the 30 great. Yet, we so often try to live the 100 bad. And instead of being lazy, I just get burned out. I have tried to learn over the last couple of years how important it is not not try to do everything. Of course, my physical health has not been the best. Three pregnancies in 3 years 2 of which were c-sections certainly helped solidify my limitations. Those days when I felt like I would die because my body was so tired, yeah, those are the days when you learn your limitations.

2- I love this woman laughs at days to come being clothed in strength and dignity. I don't see this woman as sarcastic or pompous. She just realizes what she can do has been done and everything is left up to God. In this age where we women take on so much responsibility, what a relief it would be to laugh at the days to come. We really don't allow our men to be the men God created them to be. We are afraid for them to fail. We are too controlling to allow them to be in control. And alas, they have been beaten down so much, they hand over the reigns willingly to our Jezebel spirits. Thus, we no longer laugh at those days to come but fear them. That isn't the way God created us to be! Don't get me wrong, I don't believe we are to go around and be totally oblivious to all the happenings around us or about the affairs of our home. However, we concern ourselves too much and carry too much of the load. Way more than God intended for us o carry. Does He not want us to carry it because we are too weak or unable? No way! On the contrary, we have a hidden strength. It's quiet and unweilding. He wants u free from that stress to bless us. He wants our hearts to be free to love Him. The way the proverb is structured and following the example of all the other proverbs, she laughs at the days to come because she is clothed with strength and dignity. Hmmm, that is sweet. I hope my strength and dignity can help me laugh at the days to come. I have a feeling I will need a great sense of humor.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Go west…

As far as Columbia, that is. It looks as though our next chapter in life is taking back where we started to Ole’ Cola-Town. After a silent retreat with just his tent and jug of water, CJ heard God speak to him and tell him to go to school. For those of you who may not know, CJ has a GI bill as well as a booster to go for school (which makes it a little shy of $50k). Although that is not why he joined the NAVY, it certainly is a plus. After 6 years of being out, he no longer doubts that is what he needs to do. He feels led to go into nursing (he was a corpsman) and capitalize on some of his skills already in place. Camping ministry has always been CJ’s first passion and wants some theology training as well. The only school we know of which happens to have a nursing degree coupled with Bible major (which is not the same as a “Religion” major) is Columbia International University (CIU). And wouldn’t you know it also has a minor in Outdoor Leadership which hones in on camping techniques specifically for the purpose of bringing one closer to God. Hmmmmmm. It looks like the flashing arrows are all pointing in that direction. As much as I HATE to move an hour and a half away from this town I’ve grown to love so (Btw, this is the longest CJ and I have lived in one place at one time since we’ve been married), God has spoken to my heart and, as gently as He does, stepped on my toes to remind me of some things.

Reminder #1: This is NOT my life. As much as we would all like it to be (I have Bon Jovi’s song “It’s My Life” reverberating in my head), we gave up our rights- as if we had them to begin with- when we submitted ourselves to Jesus. It doesn’t matter what we want or what our desires are. Our created purpose is to worship God. Anything outside of that is superfluous. Practically, that is done through being obedient with the gifts and talents He blesses us with. In this season of my life, it’s being a strong supportive wife and a protective mom who is clear minded, consistent, and competent in training her children in these short formative years. In a couple of years, I may be obedient through a different direction: maybe going to work full time or… The point is my life belongs completely to Jesus.

Reminder #2: Obedience is key. Everyone wants to be great and leave a legacy, but not all can set their pride aside to obey God’s leading. Abraham and Moses were considered great not because of their high integrity, great moral standing, or even their ability to do what was right (I mean, are you kidding me, have you done a character study on these two?). Alas, it was their simple obedience which God used to lead them into becoming our forefathers of faith. How much would our lives change if we instantly said, “Yes, Lord?”

Reminder #3: Faith is the evidence of things unseen. My husband has prided himself on being a provider. It is a noble and godly goal; but when it interferes with the life mission God gives, it becomes idolatry. Satan comes as an angel of light. He can certainly twist what began as good with good results and good intentions into his evil scheme with disastrous results- he is the master at it. So providing good things for your family is great; but when that provision keeps our men from doing what he was truly called to do, we should beware that our earthly longings aren’t leading others to salvation. We know God will provide and bless us as we press on toward what and where He has led us. So many needs have already been met. I’m excited to see how God works everything out to glorify Himself!

Stay tuned!