Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Make the Right Decision

            This weekend, I was struggling with a decision I made, wondering if I made the right one.  I do this a lot.  I always doubt myself and then have to re-evaluate my choice before I can feel confident that I made the right one (unless, of course, God lets me know that I was wrong.)  In this post, I want to look at ways we can evaluate our decisions and do our best to figure out which one God wants us to pick. 
            How can we know that we are making the “right decision”?

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Ray of Sunshine

            Sometimes, a ray of sunshine breaks through the clouds of life and grants you one wonderful moment of warmth and light. 
            In case you can’t tell from all my last posts, I’ve been working hard this past year to live with certain disappointments.  To stop hoping that something will change.  I know this sounds like a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing.  Because it’s allowed me to start living again, living life as it is instead of waiting for things to be just right. 
            But I will admit that sometimes the discouragement gets the better of me.  The past several weeks, whenever a disappointment that I can’t change pops into my head, I try to wave it off with this self-pitying line, “Well, I deserve it . . . so I just have to live with it.  You don’t need to do anything to change it, Lord, because I deserve it.”
            I’ve got this lingering eczema rash on my neck which looks repulsive . . . well, I deserve it.  I have a lingering ear problem that I really thought the Lord would heal . . . well, I deserve it.  This house is an under-construction mess that I simply can’t turn into a home . . . I deserve it.  I don’t have a close family-of-origin, I have very few friendships, and I always feel like I am on the outside, looking in . . . I deserve it.  So many attempts to do something for the Lord seemed to fail . . . I deserve it.  Prayers have been unanswered and God has been very silent lately . . . I deserve it.
            Somehow, convincing myself that "I deserve it" helps me to accept them as part of my life.  Not in a good way, of course.  But if I keep looking at life as unfair then I get bitter and sad.  I would much rather convince myself that I’m just getting what I deserved and so I have to accept it as fair “punishment” or consequences.  Once again, this is pathetic and unhealthy.  But so is being bitter. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beautiful In Its Time!

            Yesterday, it started snowing.  It’s barely mid-November and it’s already snowing.  Everyone says it’s going to be one of the worst winters.  And after last winter with its endless piles of snow, many people are already groaning at the sight of more flakes.  But you know what?  I’m actually looking forward to winter.   
            Of course, I do not like bitter winds, freezing fingers, and being shut up in a house for months on end.  But I have an odd sense of peace about this winter, like I’m going to find it enjoyable and comforting.  And it really has more to do with my spiritual life than it does with the environment.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Just Keep Falling

            Can I admit something that sounds terrible?  I haven’t felt like praying lately.  For a long while, actually.  I have been struggling a lot with thoughts of Prayer doesn’t really work anyway.  God doesn’t respond.  It doesn’t make much difference, so why wrestle and wrestle in prayer if the same disappointing thing is just going to happen anyway?  May as well just save myself the struggle and the pain that comes with hoping.  He’s just been so silent that I don’t feel like I can keep talking and talking. 
            The thing is, I know the truth in my head.  I know that He’s listening.  I know that He’s sovereign and He will work things out, that He holds everything in His hands.  I know that His grace is sufficient.  I know that He loves me and has blessed me in so many ways and granted so many prayers.  If He were to take away everything He blessed me with, I would be in terrible shape and realize just how many prayers He did answer.  I know that prayer works, according to His Will and His timing.  But sometimes . . .
            Sometimes I just really want to hear or feel something from Him.  Anything.  Well, maybe not anything.  I’ve read about the ways some people get hammered in the Bible.  I don’t want that.  I just want to feel . . . alive again.  Like I have something to be happy about, to feel excited about.  I want to feel Him speaking to my soul.  It’s been a long, long time.