Saturday, December 7, 2013

Reflection during Ice Days

Today is Day 2 of Ice Days at home.  We have about 4 inches of ice on the ground, and we really can't go anywhere.  We'll see how much longer it lasts... it's not supposed to warm up enough to melt the ice till tomorrow or Monday.
Yesterday, I mostly just spent the day relaxing, not thinking, playing games with the kids, working on a few things.
Today, I have started the day with Jesus, and have started some reflection.  I thought I'd share :-).

I will admit that there is some randomness to this post... bare with me :-).

I have an online journal through Penzu.  I haven't used it as much lately, but I was just reflecting through some things that I wrote a few years ago, and God truly spoke to me through it.

I wrote this after my first Kenosis trip to Colorado (our church's 8th grade leadership trip).  This trip was the summer of 2011.  I taught 2nd grade the year of '10-'11 and taught 4th grade for the next semester, then left because I couldn't handle the difficulty.  Now I wish I hadn't left, but honestly, I think we are where we're supposed to be now... and I wouldn't have learned all that I learned if I hadn't.  God can use anything :-).  I am where I'm supposed to be right now, and that's all that matters.

Jesus, while on was on my trip these are some things that I heard LOUD AND CLEAR:
1) Time with YOU is necessary... everyday!
2) Being outdoors takes away anxiety!
3) I am a teacher... that is my calling... it doesn't make me less of a mom, it makes me who I am. Denying that is denying my spiritual gift, given me to serve You.
4) Use the time and money that we have to love others and to make memories as a family... don't waste time and money!
5) Ignore Satan's screams of lies... and listen to the quiet whisper that is Jesus.
Then, this past week, I have learned a few more things:
1) Philippians 4:8... Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think of these things.
We all know that we are all imperfect... why dwell on it? When I struggle with thinking of negative things... turn my thoughts to things that are good.
2) Be who I am... I am passionate about everything... I think deeply, love deeply, feel deeply, and hurt deeply... I process out loud. I like to share what God is teaching me... and through that, He helps others. It's okay! I can't please everyone! And I'm SO glad for that realization!!
3) As I have read my journal and old blog posts, I see Your calling ALL OVER the place... and I have listened to Satan's screams for far too long... I am a teacher!! 

He has made His calling on my life SO clear at some points in my life, and during moments of extremely high anxiety, I have thrown that calling away because I was deaf to Jesus' whispers due to screams of Satan.

I also lose sight of the fact that He has called me to teach for HIS glory very easily.  I often make it about myself... how I am viewed as a teacher.  How good of a teacher I am... and I often miss the mark.

I'm currently reading Comfort Ye My People: The Real World Meets Handel's Messiah as an Advent devotional (it's amazing by the way), and this was part of today's reading:

"Think about this for a minute: 
What am I offering to God?  My work?  My money?  My talents?
Are those things being offered in righteousness?  Or is something in the way of a righteous offering?
What stops me from making my offering in righteousness?"

Now that I know without a shadow of a doubt that my calling is teaching, how is He being glorified through it?  Or is He?
I often find myself getting caught up in pride.  My pride gets in the way of His glory, and I'm learning very quickly that I need to let go of some things.  Is my work about Him?  Or my own glory?  Do I spend my time working on plans, activities, etc for the benefit of my students?  Or my own glory?  Do I desire for Jesus to be seen in me?  Or am I too busy wanting to be seen as a "good teacher" that Jesus isn't even in the picture?

Am I offering my work to Him?  I should be, but some days I'm not so sure.  Is there something in the way of a righteous offering?  Yes, myself.  My pride.

If my focus is more on His glory and not on how good of a teacher I am, the anxiety that is with-in it actually diminishes... because I no longer have to worry about it... because it's not about ME and how good of a teacher I am.  It's about Him and loving through Him.

I also reflect on how we use our money... not so well.  I struggle with a righteous offering of our money because I view it as our money, not His.  I also struggle with faith in this area.  We've struggled financially for years, and I have a hard time letting go of "our money."  I talk all the time about giving, but actually doing it comes much harder.  I'm working on this area, and I know that God knows that I desire to give more.

Good thing is, God's grace is sufficient, and He doesn't NEED our money... it's just all about our heart on this issue.  And His grace is even sufficient for my heart on this issue :-).

Reflecting on these things has been so good, and I refuse to get caught up on the "shoulds and shouldn'ts," I just know that God will continue working in me and through me as He is growing me to be more like Him.  We all have things to work on... and I'm thankful that His grace is always there for us even in the midst of the ugliness.

On another note, I'm so thankful for these days at home with the family.  Here are some pictures :-).

I am more than blessed.  I am so amazed at the fact that for the first time in years, I am able to enjoy life.  I am not weighed down by the burden of anxiety, and I love life!

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