Saturday, May 21, 2011

1. sleep in: check (now that i am adult, apparently 8:45 is sleeping in)
2. stalk facebook: check (nothing too interesting)
3. watch video for class: check (interesting video)
4. venture outside to see the flowers my husband planted: check (he is so good to me)
5. stalk facebook again: (still nothing interesting)
6. write responses for class: check (i am not a concise writer)
7. read other peoples responses for class and response: check (boring)
8. watch dvr'd shows, law & order svu (suspenseful) and 16 and pregnant (slightly dramatic and trashy): check
9. ponder how i am going to write my paper for class: check (no progress made, though...)
10. clean my house: check (swept, dusted, disinfected, organized, and laundry room mopped)
11. continue to ponder how i am going to write my paper for class: check (still no progress)
12. watch the cat try to attack the dog through the screen: check (cat 1. dog 0.)
13. ask my husband to make bread: check (and he's doing it; seriously, he's so good to me)
14. blog: check (in progress)

i love my saturdays.

and i love my saturdays even more after a crazy week. and let me tell you, it was full moon so it was a crazy week. not so much the first part of the week, but the last part of the week. namely friday. and i hate having crazy fridays. i even thought on thursday that friday was going to be a GREAT day because i had a visit cancel and that meant i only had 4 visits instead of 5. well, unfortunately, one thing lead to another and 4 visits turned back into 5 visits and getting off at 5:30 turned out to mean getting off at 6:45. needless to say, i went to bed early last night.

cockroaches, emergency meetings, ineffective communication, anxiety attacks, suspensions from school, are just among a few of the crazy things that made up my friday. that is why i am thankful for saturday.

but, before my last visit last night i prayed that it would not be in vain and that my purpose would be seen for not just canceling it. and God totally showed up. of course. my client wanted to get ice cream and i did not argue because it was 5:15 and i hadn't eaten since 11. so we went.

as soon as we got in my car our conversation goes as follows:
client: "so my teacher said the world is going to end tomorrow."
me: "yes, i have heard that, but i am not convinced it is going to happen."
c: "well, why not? it's in the Bible. in Revelation or something."
m: "yes, it is in Revelation and the Bible that the world is going to in and Jesus is going to come back. but, it is also in the Bible that no one, not even Jesus, knows the day or time when He will return to the earth. and not only that, but every tribe, tongue, and nation has not yet heard the Good News of Christ."
c: "what? what does that mean?"
m: "it means that not everyone in the world has heard about God or Jesus, and they do not know they have an opportunity to receive eternal life. there are people who live in different parts of the world that do not have access to technology to know these things, people who speak an unknown language, and other situations where they simply do not know they can have a personal relationship with Christ."
c: "oh. so what does it mean when Jesus comes back, when the rapture happens?"
m: "well, some of it is unknown, but what i believe is that Jesus is going to come back and take His believers with Him to heaven where they will live with Him."
c: "what is heaven even like?"
m: "i think what heaven is like is unknown to us; the Bible is somewhat descriptive by telling us that the colors are more brilliant and beautiful and that there are streets of gold, but beyond that, i do not have a good answer. i like to think of it at far greater than anything i can imagine here on the earth."
c: "what does that mean?"
m: "well, it is kind of like i described to a 5 year old one time when he asked me this question; i told him to imagine his favorite place and his favorite thing to do. and he asked me if Jesus would play basketball with him. i told him, i thought, of course, Jesus would play basketball with him."
c: "aww. that's so cute. you really think it will be like that?"
m: "yes, i do. it will be greater than anything we can imagine, but you have to remember what we talked about last week. and that is you do not go to Heaven unless you have a personal relationship with God. you cannot get into Heaven by just being good."
c: "yeah, i remember. and i know."

with that, we arrived at our destination to eat ice cream. totally did not expect that conversation to happen, but i completely trust that God had that conversation planned prior to me meeting with her and that is why i did not just cancel our appointment for the evening. it is because of that conversation that i am completely ok with working until 6:45 rather than 5:30. and it is because of conversations just like that, that i love what i do.

it, of course, is not always easy, but worth it when i can share the Message of Christ like that. i am so thankful to be chosen for the work that i do. and even though i may never see the impact i make during my time on earth, i will continue trusting that i am making an impact for the Kingdom each and every day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

these past two mornings on my way to work my heart has been heavy. not because i'm dreading going to work, but because of the injustices that are continuing to reveal themselves to me.

i've been thinking about my clients, my client's kids, friends who have been struggling, and other things going on in the news both locally and globally.

it is so frustrating that i can't "fix" things. obviously i'm not suppose to, but i so want to. so i had a little talk with God about that this morning. of course, it didn't go as i necessarily wanted, but it went as needed. (thanks, God).

me: "God....why? why are these things happening? how are these things happening? i'm so angry and i hurt for these people"
God: "it breaks My heart too..."
me: "but why are they continuing?"
God: "because the world you live in is broken and sinful."
me: "i hate it..."
God: "i hate it too; i hate seeing My children hurt. i hate seeing My children in pain."
me: "i know You do, but it just doesn't make sense."
God: "it isn't suppose to make sense...You are suppose to trust."
me: "trust how?"
God: "trust that I will somehow use all of these messes of a situation for My Kingdom and My Glory. it may not be immediate, but I know what I am doing. I can see 20 years from now and 100 years from now. you cannot."
me: "i know...i know. but i hurt for these people, Lord."
God: "I know you do, and I have designed you in that way. I always know what I am doing."
me: "i know You do...thank You for the reminder. i do trust You, but i need You to help me to trust you more."
God: "I can do that, and I will do that."
me: "thank You; please go with me through my day."
God: "I am always with you. always."

all of that to say; my heart still hurts. but if my heart still hurts like this, i can only imagine how His heart hurts. life is quite unfair, but i remain thankful that i serve the Ultimate Judge. and i pray His Kingdom would come to this earth.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

it's official. i survived my few days back at work after vacation. i'm even willing to go as far to say that i succeeded in maintaining a positive attitude during those days too. God is good. it is also worth noting that my homework for the week has been completed as well. (assignments are given every wednesday and must be completed by the following wednesday.) God is so good.

i won't bore you with the details of my class currently, but i will say that i have, to some degree, missed being in school. of course, doing schooling online is completely new to me. but my thoughts are being challenged, and i am actually finding the reading interesting. it feels good to be learning in this manner again.

moving on...i had an interesting conversation with one of my clients this week. as we were sitting and talking she began to in a way question me about heaven and hell. she told me she believed in God but she didn't believe in heaven and hell. however, as she continued talking she said that if there was a heaven and hell she would go to heaven because she was "good". i told her i had to disagree with her statement. she looked at me puzzled and simply asked if i believed in heaven and hell. i answered with one word, "absolutely." of course, she didn't just stop there...she asked where i would go since i so firmly believed. i told her that i would be going to heaven. as our conversation ensued, i simply told her what i believed--you don't go to heaven without asking Christ into your life and having a personal relationship with him. you don't go to heaven just because you are "good", and you don't go to hell just because you are "bad". you ask God to forgive your sins, and He does.

and that's when she said, so you're a God freak.

hm. not what i was expecting from this person. at first, i wasn't sure how to respond. i wasn't sure if i was going to be angry or if i was going to laugh. i chose not to be angry and i didn't laugh. i simply looked back at her, straight faced and told her that some people probably considered me a God freak because i believed differently than them. and i was ok with that. i told her she could consider me a God freak if she wanted.

she didn't know how to respond. and then i told her that i didn't consider her a freak for not thinking like i do or making choices that i would never make in my life. i told her honestly that i did not agree with them, but that i was not in charge of her life. and then i looked her in the eyes and told her, though, that no matter what, i would still care for her just the same.

it's conversations like that that keep me going. the work that i do is not about me; it never has been. it never will be. but no matter where i find myself, my hope and prayer is that i will always point people back to the One i know who has called me His own.

Monday, May 9, 2011

vacation will officially be over in approximately 15 hours. i'm savoring the last few hours that i can...

while it will be nice to be back in my house, i kind of have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that i will be going back to work. not because i hate work, because most days, i don't hate it; but i think the sick feeling is simply because i know i am going to have to balance work and school. it's been so great this week to take my time and do my school work, but let's face it, when i go back to work i'm not going to have time every night to work as diligently. but i suppose i will learn, because it is just going to be a new normal. i can do it; i know i can do it. and it will totally be worth it. but forgive me in advance if there are several posts in the months to come processing through how to balance life.

anyway, before i close this, i just need to take a minute and say how blessed i am. i married one of the most amazing men on the planet, and simply the most amazing man for me. i know without a doubt he would do anything for me, and i would do the same for him. but over the course of these last few days, what really stood out to me was his willingness to be intentional with my parents. he was comfortable, and he was himself. i think he has always been this way with my parents, but being with my parents for 5 full days really opened my eyes to how blessed i am to have a husband who understands how important my parents are to me and has made them important to him. and not only that, but i also realized that if we were to go on vacation with his parents, i would feel the same way about them. not many people can say that, and i wouldn't have it any other way.

i am a lucky girl.

regardless, i could go on and on about the specific things i realized i was thankful for over the course of these past few days. but i shall save that for another day and another post.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

i love sunshine, laying out, and even being a little sunkissed. (i like to refer to being burnt as sunkissed. it makes it sound a little more pleasant that way.) really, though, i've loved this vacation. not because we've done anything extravagant. actually, it's been the complete opposite of that; but i've loved it because i've been able to rest and be refreshed.

i'm not the kind of girl that likes to feel defeated in anything, and normally, i don't let myself admit defeat or failure, but on this vacation i've come to grips with the reality that i failed miserably when it came to taking care of myself. you would think since i work in the mental health field, that i would know the importance of taking care of my own mental health, but apparently, i mistakenly thought i was above that. just call me crazy. hopefully, though, i learned my lesson.

in hindsight, i over ran myself. i lived by my schedule which ultimately became too tightly packed as i feared disappointing someone, feared something not getting done as it should be done, feared letting someone down, feared...well, you get the picture. and the worst part, i'm not a fearful young woman. and by fearful i mean, i'm not afraid of snakes, spiders, lizards, bugs, dirt, and the like. i can handle all of those things quite well; sometimes even better than my husband. but throw in the possibility of letting someone down or the possibility of someone thinking less of me because i don't meet their expectations--quite frankly, i'm scared to death. i think it would be easier to be scared of snakes or spiders though, but in my case, that's just not reality.

but the truth is, i cannot meet everyone's expectations all the time. i cannot save people; i cannot be in 2, 3, or 5 places at once; i cannot survive on only 6 hours of sleep a night for an extended period of time. i am human. (and for my own sake, i need to repeat that once more) i am human. (ok, maybe once more) i am not superwoman; simply put, i am human.

i am a young woman who has chosen a profession that by nature is busy, hectic, and chaotic. and boy does God sure have a sense of humor, because i'm not a big fact of hecticness (is that even a word?) nor am i a big fan of chaos. i like order. i like to have control. i like things to be neat, and i thrive on a schedule. believe me, i get made fun of for being OCD plenty, but i think the large piece of the puzzle i missed is that Satan took what i think i thrive in and used it to almost completely and almost destroy me.

and it's so lame that he can do that. i'll say it again, LAME. LAME. LAME.

but, what is beautiful is redemption...and this vacation has helped open my eyes to the need for me to be redeemed. to be reminded of the simple, yet so often forgot truths, i am not made to handle life on my own. i cannot survive by my own strength, and i am not suppose to have all the answers. His power is made perfect in my weaknesses, but i have to be willing to let Him work. sometimes i think i squelch the work He wants to do in and through me because i think i have things figured out so well that i don't even think twice about how much i need Him daily, hourly, or even how much i need Him every minute.

and to think that i almost didn't come on vacation; like i said just call me crazy.

but why, you ask, did i almost not come on vacation? or maybe you don't ask, but i'm going to tell you anyway. because i didn't think it would make a difference. i didn't think i really needed it, i didn't think that i was so beat down or tired. pretty much, i was thinking straight because i didn't want it to be a reality. it was a hard pill for me to swallow, because again, that meant i had to admit defeat.

anyway, now i face the reality that i have one full day left to bask in the sun, to not think about work, to not worry about what will need done when i get home, to not fret about what i need to change to be a better wife, daughter, or friend--and i love it. going home, i will jump back into my crazy, busy life.

but i love my crazy, busy life. and it was when i lost sight of the fact that i love everything i do (including my job) that things felt like they were falling apart for me.

and it was when i got so caught up in my fear of disappointing people or letting people down that i couldn't take it anymore. i'm not sure that i will ever "cure" myself of this, but i think after this vacation i realize how detrimental it can be to my well being letting other people define the way they think my life should look. and being aware is the first step to making a change.

so, no matter what things get added to my plate or taken off my plate, i will do my best to not live within the expectations i feel are set for me by others. but instead, i will strive to live within the expectations my Heavenly Father has of me; and i believe that simply is for me to let Him love me well.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

vacation has ARRIVED. and i truly cannot explain how thankful i am for that.

never again should i go 9 months without a vacation; well at least not working in the job i do now. it's not good for my well being, or my husband's, or my family's, or my friend's, or my co-worker's or my client's. it simply just cannot happen again.

on a positive note, for the next 5 days i will be relaxing, being refreshed, and resting. away from home, away from work. glorious. simply glorious.

my MSW classes started today and i will be needing to do homework while on vacation, but i think being on vacation will help me transition into balancing classes and work as i get back into the swing of being in school.

in other news, there is potential that God is opening an exciting door for me that i'm praying about. if i continue to feel His leading i will be updating more in detail about that, but for now, i must finish packing. rough, i know.