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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Joseph

We're talking about bearing fruit in difficult times. So I'm relating Joseph's situation to me. Of course I'm not in prison. But there are times when I think it's so unfair, and lately without a grudge, I've been pondering if dh and dc really understand all that goes into cleaning a house and the thankless tasks that are involved in keeping up the home. The tasks we do are noticed if they aren't done, but not necessarily noticed if they ARE done. Like doing the dishes, if they're done, people just don't remember that they were there. But if they aren't done, people notice that. So sometimes it seems unfair that no one knows what all I do, in detail. But when I think of Joseph and Paul, my life seems pretty easy. There is no real big things in my life, like being thrown into prison or beaten to death. There was a quote in this section from Hudson Taylor I think that I liked. Something about doing the small things well. I'll have to find it because it was pretty good when thinking about the household chores and being faithful with the whiny children. So pondering this I guess (I know) I need to change my attitude about the little things.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11 (continued)

"The priorities of building solid, long-lasting, and ongoing marriage, families, and home lives were to be their focus-not their pain." --Loving God with all Your Mind

The Israelites were told by God to start building their homes in the land of captivity. God gave them something to do so that they wouldn't be focused on their pain. Yes, this was punishment for their sin, but He still had a plan for them. How much more for us when we are dealing with the hurts of this world. He wants us to be focused on the next thing.

Focus on the next thing, when I'm discouraged and hurt. Focus on the next thing, when the house is in shambles and my kids are sick. Focus on the next thing, when my kids are disobedient and not responding in an appropriate manner. I'm to focus on the next thing, not the whole thing. The whole thing is a huge mountain, but the next thing is one step.

When I'm discouraged and hurt - the next thing may be just to set aside the problem and wash the dishes. When my house is in shambles and my kids are sick - the next thing might be to wash the dishes or to clean up after the baby being sick. When my kids are disobedient, the next thing may simply to respond appropriately.

When I'm focusing on the pain, I'm immobilized and can't do anything. When I'm focused on the next thing God has for me, I'm energized. Well, maybe not too much till I get that first thing done, but after that, I'm feeling encouraged because one thing is done. And it seems that when we are doing His will, He stretches the time to make it enough for what we need to do.

So, bloom where you're planted

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jeremiah 29:11

Since we're only working on one chapter a week now, I'd like to break the next chapter into sections and spend more time thinking about the truths of that section. God's plans for us: God caused the Israelites to go into captivity. He had a plan with that. He wasn't (as a very good friend has said) sitting up there saying, "Oh no, now what am I going to do?" He does have a plan for us and in the case of the Israelites, it was discipline for disobeying.

Sometimes, it's something that causes us growth, not because of wrong-doing on our part. As in the case of my son. He had to do physical therapy because of tight muscles in his leg. The physical therapy was painful, and it wasn't because he'd done anything wrong. But growth for him meant enduring painful sessions at the physical therapist's office.

How encouraging it is to know that God has a plan for me. With the status change in my life, I'm glad to know that he can enable me. So far there hasn't been a real change yet. I normally have weekends off and I just pulled a regular 64 hour week with extra stress because I was leaving. But I was able to get up and get the waffles made, make the bread for the day (or hopefully two) and get a bunch of bread starter in the freezer. We had a bag of flour that didn't fit in our pantry, so was sitting on the floor. In our house that is dangerous because of all the water that gets spilled. So I made it up into bags with yeast and sugar and salt for the start of my bread making. Kind of exciting to have that done, also all week I've been making extra of whatever we're having and bagging it up so I think I have about 10 meals in the freezer.

Those bagged meals would have been nice while I was working, but they'll help a lot when we're in the garden working and run in for some supper. Just grab a bag and defrost and go. Or better yet, get it out in the morning. I'm not so good at remembering that.

I'm excited about this change in my life and nervous too. I'm excited to see ways that I can save and help my family grow. This is God's plan for me right now and I want to embrace it completely. These thoughts are based on the A part of chapter 21 of Loving God with All Your Mind.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Think about such things

Just read about praying the Word in Elizabeth George's book "Loving God with all your mind". I think I'm going to need it this week as I'm going through a status change. No more working outside the home for this mommy for awhile. It's been a great experience, but the family needs me home.

So I'll be praying the Word, especially Romans 8:28 through the week as I say my good-byes. I'll still see them but the relationship won't be the same. I'll definitely miss them. I loved my job and hope to go back as soon as the door opens in that direction again. Told them I'm comin' there first. :)

He knows that all things work together for good, but when I pray it out loud or in my heart, I'm reminding myself again of the truth. So it's a step beyond just meditating on His Word, but applying it to the day and the issue I'm dealing with.

This change won't be from super busy to easy. As my dh keeps telling me it probably will be harder. It's fairly quiet where I work and for an hour or so in the evening, I have no one grabbing on my arm calling me to this or that.

That will all change next week, when it will be back to the full-time mommy and daddy will be working long hours since the days are longer. Knowing this ahead of time helps prepare for the difficult parts of it. I'll be reminding myself that life is like labor, just breathe and you'll get through it better, but if you start screaming, everything gets worse. In other words, if I trust God, it'll be better, but when I start getting upset (throwing a big-person fit) then things go downhill very quickly.