Monday, January 28, 2013

Miserable comforters!!

I have been studying the book of Job lately. It is an interesting book filled with lessons to be learned. There is mystery behind the book of Job on who wrote it and other interesting things, but that's for another day.

We all pretty well know the story of Job. He was a righteous man who had a great, comfy life. Satan comes in and starts smack talk about how the only reason Job is faithful is because God is so good to him. God knows better than that. So God says Satan is allowed to get at Job for a while and do anything except take his life. Then ....ka-blewie! Job loses his family, wealth, flocks, EVERYTHING. He is covered with sores and trying to deal with the loss of ALL his children. Job sinks into depression and has "friends" that try to convince him that this is somehow his fault. Eventually, God speaks to Job and his friends and lays down the law. God sets things right and Job was faithful through it all and he ends up even more blessed in the end than he was in the beginning. Whew. So that's the very basic condensed version. If you want the full story go to the old testament a d read the book of Job.

Usually we like to focus on Job, and how we admire the fact that he remained faithful. We focus on the immense amount of suffering he went through. However, I want to flip this around and look at it differently like I enjoy doing.

Too often when we read the bible we don't put ourselves in the shoes of those in the story. We like to sit on our comfy rumps and scoff at the mistakes people made. Are we blameless? Do we Forget that we know how the story from a view they cannot see? We know what each person is thinking and we are able to look at it from the outside.

First I want to focus on Jobs friends. As I read their accusations against Job I felt angry. I kept wondering how they could say he HAD to have done SOMETHING wrong for all of this tragedy to fall upon him. Then, I checked myself. They didn't know what I had read in the first few verses about what went on between God and Satan. They had no idea. To their credit they sat silent for several days with Job. Ever done that before? Job became so frustrated with them and their comments he called them miserable comforters. It was true, they were. This caused me to ask I a miserable comforter? We all have been at some point. We point our fingers and judge people, even our friends. We ask, "How could they afford THAT?" or "If they hadn't done XYZ then this wouldn't have happened."And on it goes. We THINK we know the situation. We THINK we know what the answer is. Just like Job's friends though, we are so wrong. Let us make ourselves aware that we are ignorant, and we have no right to Judge. Job's friends really and truly believed they were doing what was right. Hmmmm, I've been there. You? I've been so sure I was right, then God smacks me upside the head and knocks some sense back into me for a moment. Saul was sure he was right when he was killing Christians. Perhaps when we are sure we are right we need to step back for a moment. At the root of all of this, I believe, is pride. We don't like to admit we are wrong, do we? We like to play goody goody and sit ourselves up and look at other peoples problems when we need to fix our own issues. Job's friends can teach us a lot. We can see how much like them we really are.

The next time someone needs you, don't judge them. Don't pick apart why or why not they should have done something. Be there for them. Show them the love and mercy of Christ. Pray FOR them and pray WITH them. Right then and there and later. Guide them to the love of God.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Burdens are blessings in disguise

There comes a time when Our lives look like scrambled eggs rather than the pretty omelet we expected. Right now this is one of those times in my life. Just when I start to get comfy things get tossed around. I have stopped using the phrase..."when things calm down...". Things aren't going to calm down. One thing after another has been heaped upon me and my family for the last 2-3 weeks. God had been gently tapping my shoulder for months, but these past few weeks he just smacked me upside the head. You have my attention, Lord. At times I'm not sure how much more I can take. Truly it is a blessing.

God is helping me learn to let go. He wants less of me and more of him. The tougher our lives get the tighter we have to hang on to our Lord. When times get tough we ultimately have 2 options; Trust God or trust the illusion of our control. God is in control, now and always. When we think we have control it is an illusion of our own making. We are so good at deceiving ourselves, aren't we? The world teaches us to be independent relying on and caring for only ourselves. What a sad way to live, but all too common.

I struggle with letting go and letting God. I want to fix things. God is making it clear that there are some things I just can't fix. I am grateful.

As the song says; Oh what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pain we bare. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.

Oh how true those words ring! The peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7) is free to us. Why do we not take it?? We are prideful creatures, that's why. God WILL give us more than we can handle, because he wants us to let him handle it. Our burdens are blessings, because they are stepping stones to grow closer to God.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

The hard and trying times in our lives expose our weaknesses so that God can use them to show his strength. The key to all of this is we have to seek God and and his will. We cannot continue in our own way. We have to surrender DAILY to Jesus. When we open our hearts God will give us amazing peace and use us in amazing ways.

Here is to peace, His perfect peace. Will you let go of your worries and take hold of Him?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A little of this and a lot of that...

I realize it has been a couple weeks since I last posted something. It isn't that I don't have anything I want to write about. Ive been missing writing desperately. I'm just trying to find something I SHOULD write about. All I can say is right now, there is a family that needs prayers (no, I'm not talking about us). This family has been occupying my thoughts and I hurt for them. So please pray for them. God knows them, and their needs, just pray.

With that being said, I will move on.

Well, I've done it now! After another incident with my son at school, we pulled him out of the system and brought him home. The first few days, I panicked. The home school veteran in me gave way to the once dominant "What-was-I-thinking?!?' voice in my head. Doubt kept tugging at my heart.....telling me I couldn't do this. Telling me I was crazy (that one may have been right). Upon announcement of our choice I received commendation, as well as condemnation, so yet again it was confirmed that you have to make your own path and not listen to people. After I realized this, I realized that it would be ok, because God is God and if he can raise the dead he can help me do this!

With the start of the new year, I have taken on new responsibilities in many areas. Not only home schooling my son now, but many others.

Now, I want to bestow what random knowledge I have gained upon any new home schooling moms or families out there. First, I know how you feel. It is only strange if you DON'T feel over whelmed and panicked in the beginning (and even a few times throughout). Pray. There will be days when in order to save everyone's life, you will need to just step away and take a field trip to the park. You won't be perfect, which makes you perfect. You'll cry, laugh, and at times want to pull your hair out. Find what works for your family and do it. Pray. Observe other families but don't compare yours or anyone else's. Even the most organized teacher has her disorganized moments. Always take time to answer question your children ask and be flexible enough to deviate from the lesson to explore the answer they are looking for. It's ok if your kid doesn't speak 10 languages and or have the Greek alphabet memorized. Teach them how to love. Play games together. Read the bible out loud and teach them to read it quietly. Pray. Don't compare your kids with each other. Find a learning style or curriculum that suites your family. It's ok if you decided that you don't like the books you're using. There will be times when you second guess yourself....pray. Know up front that some forms of math are the devil posing as a bunch of numbers. At the end of the day write down the good. Kiss your kids. Tuck them in, pray with them, and praise God that you get to homeschool. It's going to be tough, but it will be worth it.

I am a second generation homeschooler. If you have any questions you want to throw my way or you just need a pick-me-up. I'll do what I can. The biggest things we need to remember are we are not alone. Get ready for the best and craziest time of your life.