Sorry for not having posted in awhile. I've been busy with school and work and fund raising, and have hardly had any free time to do anything. I'm behind in writing and sending thank you's, I'm behind in science and computers, my quiet times feel like a duty, trusting God still seems hard, I'm still struggling to overcome severe self-rightousness and replace it with humility, my prayer life is usually quick prayers like "Lord, please let me not have any rude customers," or "Lord, thanks for letting me be able to make this turn without waiting forever for cars to pass" and constantly praying for the same thing- this missions trip- not really extending my prayer life to much more except a co-worker's dying uncle and a friend's dads job. I find myself getting offended at stupid little comments from people.
This post isn't meant to make you say "Wow, my life isn't so bad after all," or to say "She's complaining about THAT, when my life is like THIS?" Everything mentioned above has been used to teach me something, or to strengthen me in some way. The stressful times in life are used to our benefit, which God is graciously reminding me. God has been faithful to show me that school, work, and fundraising, while good things, cannot be put above Him. Even when I am very tired, or tempted to skip devotions, He's persistant in not allowing me to. I am having a hard time thinking of something good that comes from writing thank you's but not sending them out right away. Hopefully it will teach me dilligence, and maybe soon I'll be better about keeping stamps on hand so I can quickly get them to the box. :) Being behind in school has helped me see that it's okay if I can't do everything in one day. At the beginning of the school year I was so overwhelmed. Everything in life seemed so scheduled. I woke up, went to math class, came home, did my school, went to work, came home and whatever I didn't do I stayed up late to do. I was putting too much pressure on myself to be "perfect" and get it all done. It wasn't until I read a post at GirlTalk that I realized that what I was doing wasn't God honoring. Trying to do it all wasn't really the right thing. It was almost like saying God wasn't good enough to extend the grace I needed if I didn't accomplish a certain thing that day. It came down to being proud, trying to prove I could do it all (which I couldn't) and which wasn't much at all anyway (it was only a tiny percentage of what most stay-at-home mom's and homemakers do!) So that was good for me, and by God's grace I'm feeling more relaxed, though a little overwhelmed and way guilty that I'm so far behind. Raising money to go to Russia has really helped me see God's goodness and mercy. About two weeks ago we were 4500 dollars short of going to Russia. Today, we're about 1500 dollars short. Sure, we're still quite far from reaching our goal, but 3000 dollars in 2 weeks is definitely a faith builder. He's also taught me that even though I haven't been faithful in praying long earnest prayers, He remains faithful to answer those small requests. Also, these 30 second prayers throughout the day have really helped God be more real to me. I never knew how precious constant communication with God was. I used to be more of a "few long prayers a day" kind of person, and never experienced the delight of talking to God frequently throughout the day. He still listens to prayers said while driving, or while ringing up a customer. I hope to merge my old and new prayer lives together. I'm still trying to learn to REMEMBER to pray for others requests every day. Any tips on keeping track of lots of requests other than journaling? How do you all pray for so many requests? Do you choose one specific thing a day to pray for and pray for that throughout the day, do you sit down for a long time and pray for eveything at once? Finally, the comments made by people that offended me really only offended me because I found them to be true (except for one- it taught me a different lesson, and that is that I can't let differing beliefs create a wedge between two christians and a close relationship. We may view this issue differently, but in the end we are both saved, and we both love each other.)
I sat down tonight having no idea what to blog about. I had the time and the desire to write SOMETHING, I just didn't know what to write about. I hope in some way this lets you get to know me a little better. I guess these things have really been on my heart more than I thought they were. Seeing this is the path my writing took me down, I hope this is what God wanted me to reveal about myself. It's really hard admitting your downfalls and failures, but so good to write about God's unfailing and endless mercies. He could easily have let me have a pity party and make me feel so bad about everything in life, but through His grace I am reminded that I serve an awesome God and everything He does is with love and persistance. He doesn't carelessly pitch trials to us. These trials were tailor-made just for me. He knew what trials I could handle and would bring me closer to Him. Praise the Lord!
I know this post wasn't the best grammatically. It didn't flow well. But that's because it came from my heart and what's in my heart usually consists of run on sentences and much confusion to everyone but me! :) I also hope my tone didn't come across in any other way than it was meant to. I am not writing to offend anyone, condemn anyone, or in anyway make someone feel discouraged. In a way, I wrote this for myself. I want to come back to this post some day and say "I remember that. God was so good." Hopefully some day my devotional and prayer life will be richer and I can look back and be sweetly reminded how good God is to bring me out of this time where my prayer and devotional time just don't seem to be where they should.