Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Superwoman

I ran across this poem in a Beth Moore Bible study book.  I think there are many women out there who can identify with this.  I hope you enjoy!

Superwoman's Freedom Plea

Oh, Lord, who said there's just One Life to Live?
I'm sure I'm livin' a thousand!
The few times I do awake to pray
All My children start arousin'!

Uh, oh!  No time for quiet now
Think quick!  The day's beginnin'!
I'll try to recall all Oprah's advice....
Then my head starts spinnin'.

Make those younguns religious, cautious but not suspicious
And watch their self-esteem!
Yet you be professional, look sensational
And keep that house squeaky clean!

And perish the thought you'd forget the needs
Of that marvelous man you married
Why, throw yourself before him when he raises his eyebrows
And quit thinking, "I'd rather be buried!"

Oops, now I'm late for work, the kids hate their clothes
And the baby's got a cough
As the World Turns so quickly, I'm severely tempted
To take the next jump off.

Surely they're kiddin', Is there anyone left
Who's honestly Young and Restless
As for me, I feel centuries old, completely worn out
And cellulite infested!

It's gonna take more than Ryan's Hope for this woman to survive.
I cannot abide another deep breath of these Days of our Lives!
Superwoman? She's a curse.  To fake her is impossible!
And if I try for one more day, I'll wind up in General Hospital!

I've gotta be here, I've gotta be there
I frankly cannot face it.
Rescue me from havoc, please, show me what is basic!
Slow me down, Lord, save this life and keep my eyes on You.
Satan can have this rat race world----

Thank God, I'm just passin' through.

~Beth Moore, author

Monday, August 9, 2010

I dug my own hole....now I have to fill it back in

Years ago I decided that New Year's resolutions were for the birds.  The concept is good, but every year I made a list----then three months later had forgotten all about them and once again labeled myself a failure.  I wrote a blog almost two years ago after I had come to a place in my life where I felt things were totally out of control.  I recently read this blog again while going back through my entries to see how God has answered prayer and breathed His will in my life over the last few years.  If you have trouble saying "no", you might find sympathy by reading it. (click here to read this past post)  I read the blog and remembered the peace that came from reading the beautiful verses in Lamentations chapter 3 that say, 

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;  it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  (Lamentations 3:19-26)  
After reading this particular entry, it made me sit and ask myself how I was doing in this area of my life.  I had ended the blog with the comment, " I dug my own hole..."  I am now wondering if I have been filling it back in with the things that God wants me to or have I slipped back in to filling it up with things that are of no value.  When you find yourself in a mess, cleaning up the mess is often hard and time consuming.  It has been almost two years since I wrote those words and I really feel that I need to sit and evaluate exactly what I've learned for the last two years.  I am sobered by the fact that it has been two years....I only thought it had been one.  My, how time flies!  
The particular phrase in the passage from Lamentations that spoke to my heart was "they are new every morning".  God's mercies are new EVERY morning.  Every morning, after I have miserably failed the day before, God is there ready to walk with me through the clean up.  I am so thankful that my failures are not permanent.  I am humbled to think that God loves me despite my failures.  So every morning I come to Him and humbly and gratefully receive His NEW MERCIES!!  
So, what am I filling my hole with?  That's a good question.  I think that as I analyze the changes I have made over the last two years, I see the improvements that have been made in our family.  Reading that past blog entry has given me a wake up call to really take a look at things as this new school years begins for my children (and me).  It is so easy to fall back into the traps of my past failures.  Time is short and my children are growing fast.  Some people I know are realizing their kids are already gone.....the short time of raising them in the home is over.  I will one day be there and don't want to look back with regret.
I am off to get my shovel and choose my soil carefully.  Jesus talked a lot about soil in the parables of the New Testament.  I want to make sure that my soil is producing good fruit---fruit that pleases the Lord.  When I go to the grocery store or the Farmer's Market to get my produce, I look for the best fruit and vegetables I can find.  Bigger is not always better.  Sometimes the smaller vegetables have better flavor, but they often get overlooked.  It is the same in the fruit that we are producing in our own lives.  Bigger is not always better.  The fruit that our lives produce is for the glory of God...not ourselves.  Sometimes our fruit might not seem big and eye-catching.  But the only eye that we need to catch with our fruit is God's.  His opinion is the only one that matters.  
Thank you, Lord for new mercies.   Thank you for your loving patience.  Lord, I give you my shovel and ask you to help me fill my hole with good soil......soil that has been fertilized with your Word and much prayer.  Help me to produce beautiful fruit that You are pleased with.  I look forward to Your harvest!
  





Friday, August 6, 2010

And the walls came tumblin' down...

I can't say it, Lord.
But I know your thoughts, child.  

I know, Lord, but if I say it, you'll make it happen.
I know your heart, child.  

If I say it out loud, then I know that everything will change.
I never change.

Yes, I know You never change, Lord, but my circumstances will change.
I am in control.  

I like things just as they are, Lord.
Do you love me?  
Yes, Lord.  I love You.   
Do you trust Me?
Yes, Lord.
Trust Me.
It will hurt.
Why do you feel everything that I do will hurt you?
It isn't what I want.  
But I know what you need.  I know the plans I have for you.  They are not to harm you. 


Have you ever had a similar conversation with God?  Have you ever been so griped with fear that you know in your heart that God knows every thought you have but if you actually verbalize your prayer everything will come crashing down around you?  I even know that I'm crazy and that God is NOT just waiting on me to verbalize my fears and concerns so He can plunge me into the lion's den.  HAHA
Just writing that makes me see how silly I can be sometimes.  But for some strange and exhausting reason, I hold on to my fears like my strength and control keeps them from unleashing themselves on me.  If I hold them and never.....ever.....EVER....say them out loud, then everything will be okay.  Crazy.

God is patient with me.  I am forever grateful for His patience.  I am a stubborn one.  I know I disappoint  Him daily, but He loves me just the same.  A friend recently shared with me about a time in her life where she was going through fearful agony in her heart.  She told me that she sat with her hands open before the Lord and gave Him her fear.  We talk about being "open-handed", but she actually physically opened her hands before the Lord.  A simple gesture?  Not really.  Probably the most difficult physical gesture she had ever performed.  Physically.....actually opening her hands and giving her fears to Lord released the fear and gave her peace.  That picture is forever in my mind and engraved on my heart.  I have done this simple, yet agonizing gesture in my own prayer life recently.   I have also prayed for God to give me the courage through His strength to verbalize my fears to Him.  God knows my thoughts.   Saying them out loud does not make Him hear them and pay attention any more than keeping them in my mind keeps Him from acting and moving in my life.  Doing these simple gestures sends a message to my heart to release these fears to Him completely.  And peace comes.

Verbalizing my fears to the Lord actually did cause the walls to come crashing down around me......but not like I envisioned.  The walls that came crashing down were the walls of fear! Those walls come crashing down and bring me freedom from the bondage of fear!   The view is more beautiful without the walls in the way.






Thursday, August 5, 2010

a few of my favorite "girlie" things.....

I love it when I open a blog occasionally and the writer has written about some trinket or product that they find fascinating, useful, or just plain fun.  I have two products that have made me a happy girl lately.

I have sensitive skin and have tried every facial cleanser and makeup remover on the market.  I've even bought the expensive ones.  With sensitive skin, the drugstore brands often irritate my skin.  Even those marked "dermatologist recommended" can still irritate my skin.  I ran out of my $30 cleanser that really works.  (which I really like, by the way---but really need to save that money!!!) I wouldn't spend that much if my poor rosacea didn't need it.  But, I really wanted to find something less expensive and good for my skin.  I've tried several....all to no avail.  I was out of cleanser the other day and decided, once again, to try a drugstore brand.  I ran across this new product for sensitive skin that I had never tried.  I love it.  It costs around $5 in most drugstores.  It takes my make up off, cleanses my skin, leaves it moisturized and does not irritate it at all.  I'm hooked.....and all for $5!!!

Another product that I discovered this summer is a new concealer.  The difference in this concealer is that you apply it on top of your foundation and powder instead of applying it first.  I love it.  It is more natural looking than others and it lasts most of the day.  Now, it costs a little more than the $3.99 concealer I bought at the drugstore, but I was getting $3.99 worth of coverage and it didn't last five minutes.  So the $20 I pay for this is worth the feeling I get when I use it and "forget" it for the rest of the day!

So for about $25 these products last a long time and I'm happy with them.  I've ended up saving money because I don't use another product---only to be disappointed---and have to go out and purchase another product.  I think I will stick with these for a long time.  If you end up trying either of them, I'd love to hear about it.....unless you hate them.....then you can just keep that to yourself!  :)

If you have any great products that bring you joy....please share!  I love to hear about things other people recommend and possibly try them out.

I Hate school.....I think I'll become a teacher PART 3

I received the envelope in the mail.  This is the envelope that says, "The party's over!!"  No, seriously, it is the annual "back to school" letter that every teacher receives stating our marching orders.  Thankfully my "marching orders" are bathed in love and blessings from a man who loves the Lord and prays for me and our entire staff.  The time is drawing near.  I am working through my initial anxiety and massaging my brain into "teacher-mode".  I am blessed beyond measure to have a job....simple as that.  I am blessed beyond measure to have a job where I get to love teenagers and watch them blossom into beautiful young adults.  I am blessed beyond measure to be able to go to work in a Christian school where I can proclaim the name of Christ, relate everything to the glory of God and His plan, pray and read scripture openly in the classroom.   There were thirteen years of teaching where I did not have the privilege of freely proclaiming the name of Christ in the classroom.  God allowed me ways to love and witness, but it wasn't the same.  Working in a Christian school has been a huge transition for me....one that has had many surprises along the way.  (I will address those surprises in a future post)

As the big day approaches, my mind begins to churn.  It reminds me of water heating to boil or better yet---the spin cycle on the washing machine.  It starts slowly and then begins to spin wildly.  This is what I am learning to control and pace.  I begin scouring the hundreds of sources for new choral music, listening to samples, walking through my schedule in my mind, and planning the programs and trips.  I get out my worn out copy of The First Days of School by Harry K. Wong and reread the same chapters and worn out pages that help me focus.   I begin to wonder how I will get my room prepared with all the meetings required during the week and a half of pre-planning.  Somehow it always gets done.  The anxiety of all the details.....the pressure of all the "business" that has to be done can sometimes drive you to sitting and staring at the wall wondering where in the world to begin.   The endless meetings,  lists,  and surprises of "new ways of doing things" can be overwhelming.  One has to work hard to be calm.   While we are reading through the staff handbook page by page, hour by hour.....my mind begins the spin cycle.  It starts of slowly.  But by the second hour of talking about tardies, absences, electronics on campus, and uniform infractions, my mind is rocking----unbalanced----just like my old washing machine when I don't balance the clothes properly!  It is wild and loud!  So if you see me get up in a meeting and go get some water.....it is usually to "balance the clothes in the load" so I can focus and lower my anxiety.  I keep thinking about how many things I need to be doing in my classroom to prepare for the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  I realize, of course, that many of the things we do are very important, but none are as important as a teacher having a calm mind, thoughts and plans in order, and prepared for the precious gifts we will receive on the first day of school----the students.  

So when it is all said and done.....all the meetings are over (for pre-planning week anyway), the crisis manual presented, the staff handbook has been issued, the bulletin boards are up, the class rosters are in my hand, lesson plans are written, objectives for the year have been turned in--------the day arrives and   in they walk-----and all is well.   After all, the students are the reason I am a teacher.  It is definitely not all the other things.  It is the faces staring back at me that make all the anxiety melt away.

Bring on the students!
I am ready to be a teacher again.