Over the past few days I've been increasingly anxious about changing careers and my life in general. I've been starting to think that maybe I won't be able to become a teacher and that I made the wrong choice. With this anxiety has come some anger. I've been upset at the circumstances that brought me here, and at my perceptions about what people think of my choices. I've done pretty well about not getting mean, and just keeping a positive attitude - on the surface. But the mean thoughts have come. At first they would come and go, but now they've kind of settled right in and persistently encourage me to be nothing short of a real witch. This morning I got up thinking about how horrible things are and that no one appreciates the prep work I'm doing to become a great teacher. I also thought about how angry I was - and could not come up with a reason - and that I just needed to go do something. So I went to Hobby Lobby in search of a small inexpensive water fountain. The new neighbor is a Fung Shui expert and recommended it for finding a job. I stopped at two stores and didn't find one. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.
So here I am complaining about not having immediate gratification by having a job already. I've been unemployed for what two weeks now. Karen's telling me about her own personal faith walk regarding their move back to Austin - yes you heard me right they're coming home - YEAH GOD!!!!! She's telling me that God just doesn't like for her to be comfortable and that He keeps moving her around. She's grateful for the new skills He gives her and the experiences, but darn it would love to get comfy. I was thinking that I was having the same problem. God doesn't want me to be comfortable either. So as I'm writing this I'm having revelations about this so please endure my free flow thoughts.
It's not that God doesn't want us to be comfortable. It's that when we're comfortable we're not living up to our full potential and learning new things. We're not relying on Him for a source of strength and enlightenment. We start to think "I know that". God wants us to have personal growth as we serve others and help them grow. When we're not comfortable we turn towards others for help and most importantly turn towards God for direction. One thing Karen said was that she noticed she wasn't spending enough time in personal communication with God and that she's working on that. I think when we choose to let go of some of that personal communication (prayer, devotionals, etc) that God allows us to get uncomfortable so that we don't forget where to turn. So Karen and I are talking to each about our own uncomfortable situations and how we're working on it. For some reason God keeps popping up in the conversation - go figure. Then I turn on my e-mail and my other friend Tova has sent her "Thought for Today" e-mail. It says:
As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for
living a godly life.
2 Peter 1:3,
Sometimes it seems impossible to conquer sin. You try, and you fail. How can
you become godly? Get to know Jesus better by praying and reading his Word.
He'll help you grow
I immediately forward the e-mail to Karen and realize that I am pissing in my own Cheerio's and forgetting to FROG (Fully Rely On God). I'm neglecting that God has provided me with a great family, wonderful friends, and all my basic needs as well as that of my children. Working is something I want. It is not a need. We could do a million things so that we are clothed and fed if I don't work. The money is nice, but not a necessity.
I start reading another e-mail, Women of Faith weekly newsletter. There's always an "AH HA" in those. The letter is from Marilyn Meberg. She talks about how she is a paper clip and manila file folder junky and that when she moved she couldn't find them. She refused to go to the office supply store and get some, and pried 4 paper clips out of her desk drawer and asked for them back when she took a stack of checks to the bank. She would also scratch out the headers on the folders and use them over and over (I do that). Then people around her started giving her their folders, and she thought that was nice of them. I'm thinking how perceptive and courteous to identify a friends compulsive need and to meet it. She gets to the point in the last paragraph - "Now back to the question of my possible bag lady mentality. Do you think I could just not worry about it and say once again God has done that thing He is famous for? You know, the Philippians 4:19 love gesture: “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Jesus Christ.” I think that verse covers the needs of all us bag-lady types whether we live in
I'm reading that going - OK God you've made your point! I was so focused on what I was doing to advance my future career and was starting to forget all the blessings God has put in my life toward the like goal. I was so focused on the fact that I was spending all day studying for my tests and preparing my portfolio that I was not giving him credit where it was due. I was thinking - look at me I can get all the questions right. I'm so good. Instead I needed to be thanking God for the opportunity to serve the children I will teach, and impact their lives. For being a living presence in all that I do for Him. For being blessed with the knowledge He has given me to answer those questions correctly, and do well in my classes. To be grateful for such a good husband that he doesn't mind having the kids alone every night for 5 weeks while I go to class. For being able to do on line applications and be ready when called to serve. For all the friends and family who have supported this decision and been passionate about me becoming a teacher. For all the prayers (known and unknown) lifting me up to live out God's goal. Most of all for my family to be stable through this major transition.
So a simple change in attitude - I will focus on the blessings afforded to me and go where I am called.
BTW - Karen I am going to read that passage you recommended.
OK just another thought popped in my head. Another friend was talking about how their family is in turmoil over the lack of time they get with each other due to the job demands and that they don't feel the special projects their doing are an efficient use of time in service to God. Had to have been there to fully understand that. The point is that when talking to this friend she commented that she was noticing a lack of personal time with God and a lack of time in family devotion - something they hold in high value. She was saying that when their family was forming that this was something they always made time for, and now they don't schedule it in. They are trying to do it - if time's available. She expressed frustration and exhaustion with their current circumstances and how the job is impacting their lives. He expressed a desire to establish personal relationships with those he's trying to share God's message with. In retrospect I think God's telling us all to make sure not to loose time with Him on a 1:1 basis and on a 1:1 basis. He wants us as individuals to have a relationship and desire to be with Him. He also wants the family unit to have that relationship as well (hence the second reference to 1:1). When we let those things go our lives start to get a little crazy.
I was just thinking about this a little further. I'm always talking about planting seeds. So here's my mental picture that just came to me. God planted a seed in us, which has grown to a little flower - I'm picturing a sun flower because I like them the best right now and there's a bit of imagery going on there, but it's not that important right now. Anyway, our little flower is in a giant garden. There are other flowers of all shapes, sizes, fragrances, colors, etc. In this garden it is our job to defend our space from the invasion of weeds (hate, envy, time, and all those nasty things God wants us to turn from). We make the choice about our defenses and if we allow the weeds to be at petal length, closer, or farther. The weeds take nutrients from the environment around us (nutrients = faith), but we have a choice to defend against the weeds and preserve our resources. Now speaking from the point of view of a flower, this is difficult to do. We are rooted in the soil and have little ability to move around, much less kick the weeds out. We can defend by having prickly things, or offensive smells, but much else is out of the question. Here's where us flowers rely on God. He's our gardener. I'm all into organic gardening so you'll just have to go with some of this. God spends so much time trying to let the weed know that He wishes them no harm, but that He also has to protect His flower. So God tries to help keep the weeds away by making the soil composition something they don't want to live in. He makes the soil very rich in all the right nutrients where as the weeds want soils that are a little off. God feels that the best soil is important for the growth of His garden. Most of the weeds get this and stay away, but there are times that the flowers don't do their parts and have to learn. That's when the flowers get overwhelmed and have to get help from God. Now I know you're thinking about the fact that God could just rip those weeds right out of the ground and solve all the problems. Yes he could, but what do the flowers learn from that.
God provided a perfect Garden in the beginning and we chose to ignore His direction - we sinned. We all just have to live with that sin and learn how important it is to turn to Him and follow His direction. God will never forsake His children, and will always provide. We have to know that and accept it into our hearts, and not allow the weeds to get in the way.
This sun flower is going to turn her attention from the weeds and focus on the shining light of God. Rely on Him for the best soil and wait patiently for His word.
Had to add - Was just reading Wendi's blog and saw this verse.
No man has ever seen, heard or even imagined the wonderful things God has in store for those who love the Lord. -(I Corinthians 2:9)
Update 11/4 - ran spell check finally.