Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pelted by Rocks

Every Monday morning we have a staff devotional. It is a great thing!! And a great way to start off the week. Monday of this week Tim was talking about something he had read in a book. The title has left me now (I've slept since then!) but it was about Spiritual self feeding. He talked about how people go to church and make comments like I'm not being fed. They blame church, preachers, whatever else they can think of because they don't feel like they are getting fed spiritually. The author goes on to say, what if we took that approach physically. He describes a man who just becomes weak, frail, eyes dark and sunken in, and one day his wife says, "What's wrong with you?" His response is, I'm waiting for someone to feed me! Of course, we all know what her response would be... well go feed your yourself!! Or in my case, You know where the kitchen is!! As humorous as that is, it's sad that people feel that way about being spiritually fed. If you don't physically feed yourself, you'll die. Why do we think that it's someone else's job to feed us spiritually? Because believe me, if we don't feed ourselves spiritually, we will die and even worse death.

Later that day, I met Chris for lunch. As you know, I ride my motorcycle most days to work so I also have to ride it if I leave for lunch. This particular day when I was headed back to the office I took the highway to get back a little faster. I don't take the highway often, but I did this particular day. That day I had a first on the bike. I got stuck in the path of a gravel truck!! With the way the traffic pattern was, I couldn't get around him for over a mile or two. Because the weather is warmer, I had on short sleeves. I began to getting pelted by tiny little rocks. It didn't leave any marks, but it did sting pretty good considering I traveled that way for about 2 miles! Even through my pants it was stinging!

It made me think about the devotional we had earlier that morning. If we aren't self feeding ourselves spiritually, what are we going to do when we are under attack? On the bike I could slump down a little and hide behind the windshield. If we aren't self feeding spiritually are we going to have a "shield" to hide under when Satan starts pelting us with rocks?

In our culture we don't seem to have any problems self feeding when it comes to physically feeding ourselves. In fact as a culture we do it so much, most of us are trying to cut back on the self feeding. What if we started to do the same thing spiritually? What if we were feeding ourselves so much spiritually we might need to cut back? Although I don't think we can ever feed ourselves enough spiritually, you get the point.

In this world of always cutting back on what we eat physically eat, I say where self feeding spiritually is concerned, let's line up at the buffet table and just go crazy!! Maybe we can soon become a nation of spiritual over eaters rather than physical over eaters!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Taking a Breath...

I have missed getting to read everyone's blogs over the last couple of weeks. I'm hoping to be able to catch up this weekend.

Well, I am 2 weeks into my new job at Highland Oaks and I love it! The people here are so great. Everyone is so friendly, so loving and so willing to help. After being a stay at home mom for the most part for the past 21 years, I couldn't have asked for a better place to work. I have pretty much settled into my routine and the day goes by so quickly. (I couldn't stand it if I was looking for something to do!) If I'm going to work, I'm glad that God chose for me to be here.

I am trying to ride my motorcycle to work now that the weather is starting to cool off. When I ride the motorcycle I take more of a back way to get here. I prefer not to be on the highway, especially during morning traffic. But last week it was so hot, I drove the truck and came out 635. What a mess. For those who don't live around here, 635 is the main highway in the Dallas area that loops all the way around several surrounding cities. They are doing some major construction through the part of 635 that I must travel to get to work. Apparently, most people in the Dallas area have never seen people working on highways, because they are continously gawking and causing traffic problems.

It's the craziest thing I've ever seen. There will be absolutely no traffic and as you pass someone working or even just work trucks sitting there, suddenly all traffic stops. You would think they working in the nude or something!! Mind you this isn't even in a lane. There are still 4 lanes open. This is going on in the median between both sides of the highway. Once you pass the trucks or workers, traffic picks up to normal speed, then suddenly... stop again as you pass another single truck with no one even in it.

I've decided that they need to put a dome or some kind of tent all down the median of 635 to cover all the construction so that no one will have anything to look at. I think it would drastically help the flow of traffic!!

As I think about that, it makes me think about our lives and what people see in us. When they see us, do we show them something different, something special, something Godly to make them slow down and take a second look at us? Or are we living our life as if we are covered with a tent? Not showing the world anything about whose we are and what they could also have if they choose a life in Christ. Are we living our lives in such a way that people are just blowing past us, not even noticing we are there? If we are, something is wrong. The way we live, the things we do and say, the way we act should always cause people to look at us differently. The norm lately has become so far from what we are or should be as Christians, that if people are not stopping to look and see what's different about us, then maybe we are living too close to the norm.

While I would love to cover up all the construction so I can blow right past it, if we cover ourselves up in the same way, no one is ever going to see the light that should be shining forth from us as we live a life that is different from this world. So, let's illuminate!! Have a great weekend!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

God's Abundant Blessings

This week I begin a new chapter in my life. For the past 21 years, I have been a stay at home mom. I have subbed at the kid's schools while they were in elementary school, I have worked at a Tuesday/Thursday preschool and I have even been a church secretary from home. But as of this week, I am rejoining the full time work force.

I will tell you up front, this is not something I was planning to do. At least not right now. Jeremy is in his senior year of high school and Ashley is getting married (still sounds weird!!) this coming June. I was planning to start looking for a job after this school year ended so that I can help this kids pay for the college education. But it was not even lurking in the corners of my mind at this point. Sometimes, God just has other plans for you.

I began praying a couple of months ago that God would begin to open doors for me so that as this school year came to an end, I would have some leads or ideas about what God's plans were for me. Obviously His plans were for things to get moving faster than I had thought. His plans were not my plans. I had been emailing with one of the administrative assistants as Highland Oaks to see about reserving the church for Ashley's wedding. We emailed back and forth several times and out of the blue she asked me, "do you happened to be looking for a job, I'm not even sure what it is you do." That should have been my first clue. For someone to ask me if I was looking for a job when they weren't even sure what my job history was should have alerted me that God beginning to work. But like most of us, it takes a while before we begin to see it. I told her no, I wasn't really looking for a job. That I had planned to start looking for something after this school year, but I wasn't looking now. I did tell her about what my current job was and what I had done in the past. She let me know later they wanted me to send in a resume and ask me if I might be interested in full or part time. I said maybe part time, but I'm not looking for anything full time. As it turned out, the part time was in Plano. Since we drive a 4-door truck that gets about 10 to 11 miles to the gallon, that was just not feasible. They said they would probably talk to me anyway the next week.

Well, all of this took place the week before Ashley and I went to Vegas. I went to Vegas and got a call while I was there. They had seen my resume and wanted me to come in the day after we got back. I went in, and a day and half later they were offering me a job. I still tried to get out of it, I told them I couldn't work at all the month of June because Jeremy was graduating and Ashley was getting married. What place is going to allow you to be off for a whole month even if you aren't getting paid? I told them since Jeremy was still in school, there may be days I need off for things going on with him. I was really trying to do everything to keep from taking it. They told me all of that is fine, and we will give you an 11-month contract instead of a 12-month contract so you can take off the month of June! Wow!!!

I was stunned, I had to sit back and think about what I had been praying for, what they had been praying for and what God was intending for me to do with my life. Even though I had not planned on getting a job until after the wedding, we were wondering how we were going to pay for the wedding. My preschool job was not going to come anywhere close to covering that. This job was literally like manna from Heaven. It literally fell out of the sky and into my lap. I did not even know they were looking to hire someone, did not plan on going to work, especially never in my wildest imagination had I planned on working for HOCC. Yet there it was, like manna from Heaven. As if God had said, open your mouth wide and allow me to fill it. Now it was up to me to make the choice. I of course said yes. God's hand was too evident in everything about it for me to possibly think of saying no.

So as of this week I will begin the job of Administrative Assistant to the Connections Minister. The final word from God about this job came from the Connections minister's wife a few days later when he introduced me to her at church. Her first words to me were, "we have so been praying for you". If I hadn't wanted to admit it before, I had to admit it then. They had been praying for who God was going to use to fill that spot. My prayers had been a little different, but God blended our prayers for His purpose. I can look back over the journey of my life for the past 7 to 8 years. There were times when I questioned God and wondered where He was leading us, and why were we going through some of the things we were going through. As I look back over those experiences, I can see God's hand leading me to this time and this place. There is just no other answer to the chain of events that have been my life. God had a plan all along. I'm so glad He's in charge.

So I start this week. I'm extremely excited and of course a little nervous (maybe a lot!) as well. I went for orientation one day last week and they have made me feel so much more at ease. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is so welcoming, so encouraging and so loving. I cannot think of a better place to work than being surrounded by God's people, people who love God as much as you do. What a blessing this is going to be in my life! Thank you God for open doors and thank you for the eyes to see the opening!