Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lots Going On Lately

There has been a lot going on in my life lately.  Some of it is related to me, my own journey, and some of it is related to one of my family members.  None of this is easy, but then we were never promised an easy life.

At times, the situation with my family member doesn't seem real.  Maybe because it's just early on in the situation and the progression hasn't begun.  I don't want to say too much about this right now, but things will definitely get more difficult as time goes by, and I hope and pray I have the strength to get through all of it.  On my own, I don't have that strength; but the Lord does and He is the only one who can give me what I will need to get through everything.

I am doing my best to lean on Jesus, to give Him my burdens (like the Bible tells us to do), but I don't always do that. I am doing it more and more each day (and more than I have in the past), but I'm not to the point where I automatically give my burdens to Him - or leave them with Him. I still find myself taking them back and trying to fix things, or take care of things myself.  And that doesn't work, because I'm not the one in control.

God, however, is in control and whatever may happen (and whenever it will be), He's got me covered.  He'll get me through all of this and never leave my side.  For that I am truly thankful.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Only God Can Help Me

I hadn't realized just how much fear, low self-esteem, and insecure I have become in the last several years - well, some I've had all or most of my life, but some has manifested in the last number of years.

Not until the past few weeks of talking with S.  We've had some good heart-to-heart conversations and he's helped me to make some revelations.  I didn't realize how much I've been holding on to, and I've been listening to the enemy's lies and letting him have control far too long.

I'm not going to go into details, because it doesn't matter on here.  I will say, however, that I know I have a lot to work to do in overcoming my fears, etc., and, I have begun the process of trying to heal.  I won't overcome all of this overnight.  And I certainly can't do it on my own.  Only God can help me.  But, I need to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  I need to let Him work in my life and stop hindering Him; stop pushing Him away, thinking that I can do this on my own. Because, I can't.

I am adopting a key verse from the Bible that I am currently clinging to:

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."  Psalm 139:14

This verse is my starting point.  This verse is something I need to remind myself daily - or as many times in the day as need be.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Give Thanks For Everything

The Bible tells us that we should give thanks, to God, for everything.  


That doesn't mean that we only give thanks when something goes "our way" or for blessings we receive,  or things we have, or when times are good.  Yes, we should give thanks at those times, and often do, but those aren't the only things we are to be thankful for.

When we are having a bad day, when we get into a car accident, when we are sick, we should give thanks.  When the bus is not running on time and we are late for work and the boss yells at us, give thanks.  When a relationship breaks up, when we are expecting guests for supper and we burn the food to a crisp, give thanks.  Lose your job? Give thanks. Get a bad mark on a test or report card? Give thanks.

Sure, it's easy to give thanks for the good and positive things happening in our lives.  But it's more difficult when things are going bad - especially when faced with times of serious illness or death. We don't often see these bad situations as something to be thankful for, but it's during those difficult situations when we really need to turn to the Lord. These are times when we learn and grow. Those are times when we can thank God that He cares about us and what we are going through.

Often when things are going good for us, we don't tend to put our trust in the Lord.  It seems that we (not all of us, though, as I know some people are pretty good about trusting God during the good and the bad times) more often turn to Him when times are tough, praying (and sometimes begging) for things to get better.  But this is a great time to learn to trust Him, have faith that He is with you no matter the results of your situation, and  believe that no matter what, He loves you and will not leave you during the dark times (or at any time for that matter).  Be thankful that He is there for you to turn to.

I know it's not easy to be thankful during rough times - at least that's what I find for me.  Those are times when I want to be in control of things, when I want things to run smoothly, when I want everything to be good.  However, I am not in control. God is.  And no matter what happens during the rough times, God will be beside me and I know that I am in a process of growing and stretching in my faith.

I, myself, need to remember and learn to give thanks to God for the bad times as well as the good.  I tell you, I'm a work in progress and still learning, even though I've been a Christian for awhile now.  It's an ongoing process and something I hope I keep doing for the rest of my life.

Ephesians 5:20 
...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, November 24, 2014

We're Just Starting On This Journey

My life is changing.  I'm in the midst of learning that my actions and decisions now no longer concern or affect only me.  There are other people involved in my life who need my attention - my fiancé and his son.

I am slowly learning that the three of us are growing into a family, and that my family no longer consists only of my parents, my brothers (and their families) and me.  My family now includes S and J.  Starting next July, after S and I are married, when I talk about my family, chances are I'll be referring to just the three of us.  I think that reference might take some getting used to.

It's difficult moving from a selfish lifestyle - one where I did what I wanted to, went where I wanted to, bought what I wanted to, because there was only me to consider - to one in which I need to take others thoughts and feelings into consideration.  Instead of asking, "What's best for me?" I need to be asking, "What's best for us?"

I want to do things that will show my new family that I love them.  Sure, I can say it, but as "they" say, actions speak louder than words.  I don't know what my fiancés love language is.  I've done mine (words of affirmation and touch tied for first, and gifts was a very close second) and shared it with him.  I've asked him if he would take the quiz and let me know what his are, but, he's told me he doesn't believe in "doing marriage" according to what a book says - or something like that (I forget the exact words he used), and  I haven't pushed the issue.

I know marriages aren't perfect, and there is no single piece of information, no book, no advice that will make it that way.  Marriage is a give and take.  Both husband and wife need to give 100% to the marriage in order to make it work.  I think that problems occur when one or both don't give 100%, or when one person feels like they are contributing more to the relationship than the other - or they perceive it to be that way.

It will take time to discover each other, to discover what works or doesn't work, and in putting my new family's needs and wants ahead of my own.  We're just starting on this journey that will have bumps along the way, and I know that in the middle of our relationship needs to be the One whom we rely on. The One who will lead us. The One who will guide us. The One from whom all blessings flow.  Jesus Christ.

With Christ in the middle of our relationship, we can overcome the difficulties and hardships together.  But that takes trust, and that is something I need to work on.

I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life with my fiancé.  And I'm looking forward to our relationship being the type of relationship God wants from us - one spent serving Him.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Slowly Getting Settled

I'm slowly getting settled in here.  It still doesn't seem like I'm living in a new location - only feels like I'm just visiting or something.  I hope that once I get a full-time job and make friends and go places with friends, then maybe it will feel like home.

Church is difficult in some ways. I go with my fiance (and his son who plays in the worship band) and sit with him.  A lot of the time we sit with friends of his, a couple who are about ten years older than us.  They are great.  My fiance has also introduced me to some others in the church (mostly this was in the summer when I was here and I don't remember who they were or what they looked like), but no one, aside from the couple that we sit with, has ever come up to me to find out who I am or invite me to coffee or to join a small group, etc.

The church (not just the one I'm attending, but many) talks about bringing in new people, creating disciples, and that's great.  But what about the newcomers who are already disciples? Don't we count?  Aren't we worth getting to know and befriending?  I think it's important that when new people come to the church, the body should be making them feel welcomed and connected.  I don't find that happening much - at least with me.  The two previous churches prior to the one I am now attending was also the same way. And it wasn't just me who experienced it.  My best friend and her daughter had the same thing happen to them at those other two churches.

I do know there are some newcomers at my current church who have been made to feel welcome, who have been invited for coffee and to join a small group. So why has no one done this to/for me?  Is it because the majority of the people attending this church are in their 20s and I'm in my mid 40s?  Do they think I'm too old to be friends with?  I do know there are some others in the congregation who are closer to my age, but none of them have approached me either.

I'm a shy introvert.  It's hard for me to make friends.  I find it very difficult to approach people and make small talk, get phone numbers, call them, invite them for coffee, etc.  It makes me feel almost sick to have to do this, so when other approach me, it makes things a lot easier for me.

Do I have to step out of my comfort zone and approach others since no one is willing to approach me? Maybe, but I honestly don't think that newcomers to a church should have to be the ones approaching church members.  I think it's up to the members to seek out the newbies and make them feel welcome (sure I've had a few people smile and/or say hi, but that's it).  At the very least,  I think the pastors should be doing this - helping newcomers to make connections with people in similar situations.

Anyway, enough of that.  I know I'll get over this and eventually make friends and feel comfortable in this new city.  So far, though, I enjoy the city itself.  Much bigger than the last place I lived, and I definitely like that!

My question to you - how do you make friends? Are you willing to be the one in your church to approach newcomers and befriend them or lead them to people they can connect with?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Still Not Over

It's been a two-coffee morning for me today.  I have been rather tired and a little stressed at times due to a family situation that happened six weeks ago.  It's still not over, though I'm not sure how much longer it will last - a few weeks, a few months...

I've taken the last four days to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind helping out, but I also needed this time to myself.  I do feel a little more rejuvenated, and that will help get me through what is hopefully the last leg of this situation.  I'll explain more at a later date.

I do want to say that this has been the reason for the absence from my blogs these last six weeks.  I had hoped to be more faithful in my posts, but sometimes things happen that take us away from what we had hoped to do.  I will try to get some posts done up to transfer over to my blog for when I get back, and hopefully I will learn to get some posts done up in advance and schedule them for later dates to help in the times when I don't have anything to post.  Maybe that will help in not having such long gaps between posts on the blog.

As I've said, I'm not sure how much longer I will be away from Blogland.  Hopefully it's not too much longer, and hopefully I will have some (good) posts to add when I get back.

Until then, God bless.

Monday, September 01, 2014

It's Labour Day

It's Labour Day.  Tomorrow, in most places in Canada, school starts.

This is the first year since getting my full time teaching job, three years ago, that I will not be teaching.  I've not had to go in a few weeks early to prepare and get my classroom ready.  I've not had to go in for orientation or find a new (or keep the same) class theme.

I'm not working.  I quit my job last June to move back to the east coast where there are no teaching jobs available.  I have no car, which makes it even harder to try and supply teach - it's all hard to explain, but this is the position I am in.

I'm looking for work elsewhere, but not having much luck yet - though to be honest I only started looking a week ago.  I've not heard hide nor hair from any of the places I've applied.  In all honesty, I know some of it is due to being over-qualified for these positions (which I could probably have gotten a lot easier had I not gone back to university and got my teaching degree).

There are "lots" of job opportunities for industries for which I am totally not qualified - computer related jobs, even secretarial/receptionist (because of not knowing how to use certain computer programs), nursing, sales (which I don't think I could do very well), or even teaching at a university (which required a doctorate and I don't have that - I don't even have a master's degree).

I can't afford to change my career yet again, especially with trying to pay off a student loan. If I can't find something, I might have to take some kind of course though.

In all of this, I do know that God has a plan.  God will make good from the bad, and He will provide.  I just need to trust Him, let go of my fear (which is NOT from Him and holds me back) and just TRUST.

That's hard to do.  It's something I struggle with, I admit, but as I've stated before, when I made the decision to quit and move away, I felt a total peace about the whole situation. I know there is a plan, there is a way, and things will work out.  The fear of not knowing, and 'what if' (as well as the lack of total trust) stops me dead in my tracks.

So, pray for me. Pray that things will work out well for me, that I'll stop letting fear get in the way, and that I will fully and totally trust that God will provide a way out of this for me.