Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sometimes Things Stay the Same

#1 Some people fear change.
#2 I think I'm addicted to it.

Sometimes things stay the same.


I started this blog when we first moved to Georgia.
That was five years ago this January.

Everything was changing then...
We'd lost almost all of our belongings in a brown recluse infestation.
IV was having to drop out of law school because we couldn't afford it. 
He was working loss prevention at Wal-Mart, which by nature is a temporary job.
We moved in with my parents and were searching without success for a place we could afford to rent.
Plus, I was pregnant...again.
IV's mom and dad offered us a house to rent in Georgia, so we packed our limited belongings and headed south. 

It was not the best of times, but things were moving, and we were very happy when we finally landed here.

Since then, our family has grown, IV has changed jobs a few times (including the year in Kuwait), and I've done a lot of running, teaching, and laundry...plus so much more.

It's been a great "Georgia life", and everything seems to have finally settled.

That should be a good thing...right?

Once upon a time, I prayed that the Lord would never let us get too comfortable.

That was when IV and I first got married.
I never wanted to be so comfortable that I forgot my purpose here on the earth, or that I forgot how much I needed God. 

I think that's why I'm addicted to change...because when things are changing it's so easy to see God's hand at work.  It's so easy to see my need for God and to see blessings when they come.

When things stay the same, and I do get comfortable, I also become a little stale. 
That's why I haven't blogged in a while...I've just been living life on the surface.

Of course, things are still changing around me, and in other people's lives I see it...I guess it just goes back to my self-centered nature.  I want change to happen to me!  (Preferable good change, of course. :) )

Thankfully, when things do get stale, and I find myself in discontent, or simply too "comfortable" the Lord finds ways to bring it to my attention.

  • Sometimes He uses a six-year-old.

My son Ace is a very deep thinker.  He turned to me the other day and said:
"Mom. Why is it that before something happens I get really excited about it, but then when I'm in the middle of it I'm not excited anymore?"
I had to break it to him..."That, my son, is the seed of discontent.  It happens to everyone."

I kept thinking about this over the following days and realized that I'm in the middle of my Georgia life and I'm not excited anymore...I want to be excited about life!

 

  • Sometimes (quite often, in fact) He uses a spouse.

IV had a new idea the other day to make some extra money...it wasn't a bad idea, but I get tired of talking about money.  The more he talked, the more depressed I got.  He asked me what I thought and I said in my good whiny voice, "I don't knooow.  I don't know what to do."

Then he asked the pointed question, "Well, what do you want to do?"

My mind started turning:
...I DON'T want to chase money.
...I DO want to run in the mountains...far, far away.
...I DON'T want to make anymore mistakes.

So I said, "I want you to decide what we should do."

I know our purpose is to glorify God, and I know we're where God wants us at this time. 
Therefore, what I want is to do life well while we're here.
Other than that, I have no idea what I want. 

So, here I am.

Waiting for nothing in particular.
Praying that the Lord will direct IV when it's time for us to make a change.

Because, in the end, God has a purpose...even when life is comfortable.

What then shall I do in this moment of stability? How do I keep myself from going numb?

Here's what I've come up with:
  1. Keep a journal of things I'm thankful for and blessings I've received. -I've always been a fan of Ann Voskamp and her One Thousand Gifts.  That's what got me started doing this...and I've made it my own.
  2. Take note of the jobs the Lord has put before me at this time, and do these things "as for the Lord" (Colossians 3:23).  -I've got a husband to be a helper too, five children to teach and love, a life group full of high school kids to lead through the word, and friends and family galore...so there's plenty to do.
  3. Stay in the Word and in prayer. -If I don't do this I sink into discontent and self-absorption faster than a 5k.  It's hard sometimes to set my mind "on things that are above" (Colossians 3:2).  I've got to have daily reminders about what's really important.
It seems like this should be so simple, but it's really not, at least not for me, not always.

We just have to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking (Matthew 7:7).

We have to watch and pray so that we do not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:41).

We need to remember the first and great commandment, and take the focus off ourselves:
"And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself" -39


 

And as we head into the heart of Christmas I'm going to be thankful for all He's done for me. 

I keep thinking of Mary, living a normal life, when Gabriel brought her the news. 
How she was ready for the task at hand and glorified the Lord with her song of gratitude:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”  -Luke 1:46-55
I want to be ready and grateful like she was...

And I want to be hopeful for the future:

16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.  -1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 
Things will not stay the same forever.




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