Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why Does Everything I Desire Cost Money - Even If It Is Not Materialistic...


Today I'm feeling tired. Although I was able to get a pretty good night's sleep, and I did feel awake a little while ago, I'm now feeling tired again. Might have to take a little cat nap.

I think my tiredness is on many levels - physical (I haven't been sleeping the last two or three nights), mental, emotional, and spiritual. It's hard to focus on the directions I want to take, or think I need to take. I am starting to feel overwhelmed with a lot decisions and situations, but I know that is just stemming from being exhausted.



Yesterday I was looking into a few things and felt a little depressed and...I don'r want to say hopeless, but that is how it felt...everything takes money to get or accomplish, something I don`t have right now. My job is supply teaching, and this past year I didn't get a lot of work, and what I did get was inconsistent. I am hoping and praying I get more this year, but still, it is not going to give me the amount I need for what I want to do and/or accomplish. I also feel like my age is starting to get in the way, but maybe that's all in my head.

I don't want to get into what I`ve been looking into on here (nothing illegal or immoral), but it is something that means a lot to me. Well, there are many things I want that require money, and not all are materialistic - they're things that require money in order to be accomplished or fulfilled.

I guess it is not meant to be - maybe not right now, maybe not ever. I know God is in control and if what I'm wanting and looking into is what He wants, then it will happen - no matter what. I guess for now I need to just forget about all of this and put my focus on God and follow His guidance, His direction, His will. It is hard to do, but it is what I need to do - even though in all honesty, I don't really know what to do or how to do that. Yes, it is something I need to do, no matter how painful it feels - the letting go and obeying God.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Additions

Just as an FYI, I added some new blogs to the blog list on the left sidebar. Why not check them out? They are:

1. O Me of Little Faith
2. Untitled
3. There is A Time
4. J. C. Wert

There are a couple more that I tried to add, but for some reason blogger wouldn't let me. I might have to add them under "links" instead.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doubt the Contradictions

Do you struggle with the truth of the Bible, and the contradictions that appear in it? You're not the only one - Jason does too. Check out his blog post here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Failure

I recently started getting the In Touch magazine again. I love reading it, and I love listening to Dr. Charles Stanley - he's one of my favourites.

In the September issue, there is an article called, "The Aftermath of Failure" by Erin Gieschen. It's a great article. There is a quote from the article that says, "failure isn't how God defines you; He defines you by your heart." It's definitely something I needed to hear/read. I needed that reminder - and I think I need it often.

So often, I am afraid of failure and it often prevents me from doing something. And when I do fail, I tend to beat myself up pretty good. And, when I do that, I tend to think that others, and God too, will think less of me.

Reading this article helped me to remember that failure doesn't define me. The problem is, I need to remember that; I need to not focus on the failures in my life. It's hard though. I suppose it's part of my "perfectionist" personality - I need to be good at everything I do or try, I need to be successful, I need to not fail.

I know, I'm not perfect and I make mistakes and I fail. I'm human, and as long as I live I will continue to make mistakes and fail. But, I need to focus more on God and realize that He doesn't see me as a failure. I need to realize and focus on the fact that He loves me, no matter what.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Waiting

So, by reading my previous post (and some of the other ones as of late) you know that I've mentioned how I don't feel that God has been speaking to me, or working in my life.

Yesterday, Sunday, I woke up still in a bad mood, still a little depressed. The evening before I was driving home and had the radio on the local Christian station. They were playing one of those count-down/request type shows and the DJ (do they still call them that?) was telling about a girl who had been suicidal and that if God loved her and cared about, He'd have to tell her. The next morning she woke up and turned the radio on and there was a song playing (they mentioned which one it was, but it's unfamiliar to me) that talked about God loving someone. I told God that if He cared at all about my situation, and that He hadn't forgotten about me and was still working in my life, then He'd have to do something than other than having a song play on the radio.

Yesterday at church was a little difficult for me. It was a great service, but I found it hard to focus and concentrate. I don't want to say I scoffed at the message, but I was annoyed with it because it seemed like the pastor kept talking about things that don't concern me (i.e. marriage, kids, etc.).  I'll even go so far as to say I was a little emotional during the service. I've had a hard several days prior to the service, and I think I was just stressed out and it came out in emotions I hate expressing in public. 

So, to make a long story short, I realized that God was using Pastor J's sermon to speak to me - to tell me to keep waiting on Him, and even though it might take longer than I would like, He is sill with me and I need to wait for His perfect timing. To be honest, I even "felt" like something is going to happen soon. I hope it does - but if it doesn't, I hope that I don't sink back into the funk I was in lately.

Everything in the sermon yesterday, as well as the verse from Psalms that I mention previously, are all pointing to me to just put my hope in God and not in the world, to wait on Him. So, that is what I'm am really going to try and do...but I do know, I can't do it on my own - I need the Lord to help me!

Thank you God for still caring about me, for still loving me, and for still having a plan for my life - even when I don't feel you do.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Frustrated Yet Again

Why does it always seem like everyone around me gets what they want, especially when they don't follow the Lord (or they used to and have back slided a great deal and purposefully go against what He commands)? And why, when I am trying and trying to improve my relationship with God, do I not get what I want or my prayers answered?


I am so frustrated, jealous, angry - you name it. It just doesn't seem fair! Last night I talked to God and told him how I feel and why. I listened to some Christian music before I went to bed, and I started feeling a little better. But, this morning it has all returned - not quite as much as last night, but it's still there.


All I can see is my current situation and how it seems like (and feels) like God is ignoring me. I see Him working in everyone's life around me, but He seems to have pushed me to the back and would rather bless everyone else - even those who have fallen away. Honestly, I am quite discouraged.


I guess there is a sliver of hope in it all. When I did my Bible reading this morning, I opened to the book of Psalms (that's where I'm reading currently). I had a verse that was highlighted from a previous time, and it jumped out at me. This is the verse:


Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.
(Psalm 31:24)
So, I am going to try to follow that advice. I am going to try to be strong. I am going to try to let my heart take courage. And I am going to try to hope in the LORD.

I don't know if I'm being tested or if I'm under a spiritual attack, but I'm really tired of feeling like nothing in my life is working out. Maybe God is trying to break me, I don't know. But I'm pretty much at my breaking point now.
Ok, I think my rant and pity party is over. Time to try to stay positive.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

For Your Goodness' Sake

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across Psalm 25. I had verses 4-7 highlighted and circled. As I read it over again (don't remember when I had marked theses verses), I remember that I had chose to make this my prayer to God, and I continue to have these verses as my prayer to God:


Make me know Your ways, O LORD,
teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Remember, O LORD; Your compassion
and your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness
remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.
         (Psalm 25: 4-7)

So tell me, what is your prayer to God?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Bit of This and That

1. I've been trying to come up with some good blog posts, but every time I start one, it seems to fizzle pretty quickly - I don't know why. Guess I'll keep plugging at them and use them in the future.

2. Over the weekend, I was able to go to Halifax and Peggy's Cove (both in the province of Nova Scotia). I haven't been to Halifax in probably 20 years; I've never been to Peggy's Cove. L-O-V-E-D both places! Over on my photography blog, Shutter Bug, I've got a couple of photos posted and will be posting more over the next several days. Hope you'll stop by and leave me a comment (love comments here too)!  I definitely want to go back to both of these places again - hopefully soon!

3. Yesterday I received a photo of my new sponsor child from World Vision. I have been sponsoring a little girl from Tanzania for about 10 years now. Yesterday's mail stated that the community in which this little girl lives, has now become self-sufficient (yay, God!) so I will not be sponsoring her anymore. 
                                                                                                                                                 
I now have a new little girl in the same country, but different community now. From the little bit of info (I get more in about a month) stated with this child's picture, I was told she is nearly 3 years old, neither of her parents work and can't take care of their family well (probably because of not having jobs), and the community is quite poor. Please pray for this little girl, her family, and community (don't worry about specifics, God knows who and where they are).

4. My best friend found out that she will, in fact, be able to attend the B.Ed. program she'd applied for earlier this year (the same one I graduated from last November). Just a week ago, it seemed that even though she had been accepted into the program, she wouldn't be able to attend because of her financial situation. Just the other day, however, she found out that she WILL be able to attend. God is definitely working in her situation, opening doors for her, while shutting others. My friend has been trusting God all along to work out the details, and even when it was looking as though she wouldn't be able to go, she said that if God didn't want her in the program, then she was alright with that, and accepted the outcome.

I am so thrilled for her! She is an awesome woman, fabulous teacher (she works with 4 year olds all day, every day), and an excellent mother. I know that she will make one of the best teachers in the public school system when she graduates the program.

It's awesome to see how God has been working in her life - in the past, and in the present. He has big plans for her, I know it!

5. I wish I could see God working in my life. To be honest, it feels like He's taking a break from me. I really don't see Him doing anything in my life. I'm sure He is - after all, that's what "they" say, that God is always at work, even when it seems like He's not. I'm sure there's a reason why I never got an interview for a full-time teaching position (I applied for elementary teaching and ESL - though I would prefer to teach K-4), I'm sure there's a reason why I didn't get all that many calls to do supply work this past year. I'm sure there's a reason, but it's so hard not being able to see the results. I guess this is what faith is all about. Trusting God, even though we don't know what's going to happen. But, in all honesty, I really don't see Him working in my life, and that makes it hard. Sigh.

6. I am back to wanting to make changes in my life - so many changes to make! Earlier in the summer/late spring, I was working on losing weight and exercising, trying to get closer to the Lord (that is an ongoing thing for me - 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Well, when my sciatic problem began to get more and more intense, I pretty much gave up trying. I could barely move, was in pain, and couldn't focus on doing what I should do - nor did I feel like doing anything.

Well, since my sciatic hasn't been bothering me as of late (there is still a bit of tightness in my muscles, a little "pain" once in awhile (though nothing bad or requiring pain relievers), and half of my leg and foot is still numb), I've been itching to get out and try jogging/running again. I might give it a try soon, and see how it goes. I should be going out for walks now, since I can actually move again without pain, and should try and see how it goes on the eliptical machine (I tried several weeks ago, but it hurt my back a little).  And, I need to start watching what I eat and cut back again. I'm at the biggest I've ever been again, and I certainly don't want to get any bigger!!

Ok, well, I guess that's all for now. May you all have a blessed, and Christ-filled day!

*** Top picture of the Halifax, Nova Scotia waterfront; bottom photo is the lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

God's Creativity

Last night, I was thinking about how creative God is, and when I think about that, I always think about flowers. To me, those are one of His most creative things (sure, there is the platypus, which is pretty darn creative if you ask me, but, I did say "one of" :o) ).

Flowers come in all shapes, colours, sizes, and varieties. There are roses, daisies, purple cone flowers, irises, orchids, and the list goes on and on and on, and...

One flower that has become a favourite of mine in recent years is the dahlia. My mom has been growing many dahlias for the last several years (maybe close to ten years). Her and Dad used to work together to prepare the garden, tilling it, adding fertilizer, weeding, etc., but Mom was the one who started growing them in the beginning. Dad died nearly two years ago, but mom continues to grow and take care of the dahlias and other flower in her gardens.

The two flowers in this post are both dahlias. The first one is a small ball or pompon type...I'm not entirely sure. It's not fully opened yet, but I think it's an amazing looking flower. Just look at those petals, how they are curled into little tubes! This same flower looks amazing in other colours too (but then don't most flowers?), with purple being my favourite. I'm not usually drawn to the colour orange, but I really like this flower.

The second flower, below, is a collarette type. It also comes in other colours, and the little collar (the smaller petals around the center) can come in other colours as well, so even if the larger petals remain the same colour, you can have a different look because the collar isn't the same.

I am always amazed with God when I look at flowers. I love to take floral photos to capture the beauty of God's creation. I'm not the best photographer, but I do my try to do my best. I have several other flower photos over on my photography blog, Shutter Bug. I'd love for you to visit me over there as well, and let me know what you think of the photos, the flowers, and the subjects I've photographed (it's a family friendly site, so no need to worry).

I am thankful that God gave us these beautiful creations to enjoy and take care of. I'm also thankful that my mom is into gardening, because it provides me with the opportunity to take photos of her flowers. I really need take up that hobby, so I can continue to have beautiful flowers after mom's gone (which I pray isn't any time soon!).

So, thank you Father for your wonderfully, beautiful floral creations!

My question for you: What is your favourite of God's creations?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Best Time To Pray

Is there a best time of the day to pray? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question is "any time". There is no magical time of day to come before God; He is available to talk 24/7 (do people still say that?).

There is something, however, satisfying about praying in the morning - specifically when  you first get up, before getting involved in the business of the day. Spending time with God is important. If we get up and go about our lives, getting involved in the kids' after school activities, homework, housework, paying the bills, getting supper ready, our jobs, etc., there is a great chance at forgetting to spend time with God by the end of the day.

I''m not saying it's wrong if you do spend time in prayer at the end of the day. For some people, that is their preferred time to be in prayer, and that's perfectly fine. I used to do this, myself - read my Bible and pray before going to bed. After awhile, I would read my Bible and then lay down in bed to begin praying, only to find out a short time later that I had been dozing in the middle of what I was saying  (most times I would fall asleep before making it half way through my prayers. For me, at the end of the day I was tired and couldn't focus and just wanted to go to sleep. It didn't seem to work well for me. If it does for you, that's great.

Since becoming a teacher last year, I have switched my routine to the morning. I get up at pretty much the same time every morning and get ready in case I get a call for work (currently I do supply work, so if I don't get a call to work in the evening, there is a chance I'll get a call between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. to go in that day). I take my shower, do my hair, and put my make-up on so that if I get a call to come in ASAP, I am ready. Once I have that done, I make my way to the living room (where I do my devotions) and read my Bible chapter(s) and pray. I will also add here, that if I do get called to work and don't get a chance to do my devotions and pray, I try to remember to do them at night - but that doesn't always work out, and I end up forgetting.

The day just seems to go a little better and I am a little more able to handle situations when I pray in the morning. Does this mean that my day will go perfectly, that nothing bad will happen, or that I won't get angry or sin? Of course not. But I have heard many people who also pray and do devotions in the morning say their day seems to go a little better, and they feel they can handle whatever comes their way in a more Christian manner (if that makes sense), than if they start their day without God.

Praying in the morning is in the Bible - we read in Psalm 5:3, "In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." We even read about Jesus getting up early in the morning before everyone else to pray to God. This can be found in Mark 1:35, "In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there." Does that mean that the morning is the only time to pray? Of course not! Jesus prayed ALL THE TIME. There is no real or specific time to pray, but there is just something about praying in the morning that helps you get through the day.

So, I challenge you to this. If you are not someone who prays in the morning, why not try it - even if it means going to bed a little early and setting your alarm to get up 30-60 minutes earlier. Try doing your devotions and praying in the morning and see how it works. And of course, feel free to come back and let me know what you thought about it (both good and bad aspects).

That all being said, the best time of the day to pray is whatever works for you. The important thing is to spend the time with God, and pray.

What time of day do you find is the best time for you to pray? If you do pray in the morning, do you think it helps you throughout the day? Do you notice a difference in your day, or in how you act/react during the day if you pray in the morning as opposed to praying in the evening or at night? Let me know in the comment section.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Link For "Seven Actions For the Times God Is Silent by Ron Edmonson

Ron Edmonson has a great post called, "Seven Actions For the Times God Is Silent". Something I definitely needed to read...and more importantly, do.  Check it out; you might be glad you did.