RSS

Tag Archives: Prayer

Crazy Mode Be Gone!!

It started off innocently enough.  The Hubs was planning on preaching on Mary and Martha, so I was cooking up a Sunday School lesson on “The Important Things First”.  I had found a really cool object lesson, and was moving onto an activity.  It seemed simple enough.  Draw a Pie Chart showing how much time you spend on THE important thing (Our relationship with God) and then how the other stuff fits in.  Sounds easy enough for my 11 year olds to get, and yet still drive the message home.

I like to have examples done to show the kids, so they understand what we’re aiming for.  SO there I sat, with an empty pie chart staring at me.

Can we be real for a moment?  Like in that hesitate to post, worry what your health nut sister in law (whom I love very much) or your Minister parents and in laws (whom I adore) will think kind of real?

This is what my pie chart looked like:

Image

So let me break it down for you….

I made my chart by creating 7 slices (one for each day of the week). And then I coloured in the activities.  So Green is work (and you can see it spill into Saturday and Sunday because.. as a pastors wife, it never truly stops). Red is meal preparation.. and yes, we’re that “Fend for yourself” weekend meal family.  Yellow is the whole bed time routine, And the pinky purple?  Well that’s the mind numbing junk reading, reality tv watching, app downloading, video game playing shame that stopped me in my tracks.

And what is the blue?  That’s my God time.  You can see a ring in the AM’s before work, that’s my before I’m out of bed prayer time and my worship in the shower time.  you see a ring around meals, that’s grace, and then the circle around bed for bedtime prayers.  Saturday evening shows a spike, that’s my Sunday School prep time.

I’ve been feeling unorganized, unfocused, unmotivated, you name it and I was un-feeling it.  Is there any wonder why?  Clearly my priorities had somehow slipped out of whack.  Because my life had become so unorganized, I was coming home from a day of work where I was unproductive to a meal I had forgotten to prepare, which meant eating out, or eating junk.  Then, because I had the wrong fuel in my body, and the wrong priorities in my mind, the evening was spent trying to get the energy to go to bed.

So Sunday came (thankfully it was just my kid for Sunday School so I skipped the embarrassing pie chart activity) and went and I thought something’s got to give, and that “something” is me!  That night my prayer went something like this; Lord, I can’t keep going like this.  I need to stop and give you the time and energy I’m wasting on other things.  I need you to be the #1 priority in my life, but I need your help to get there.  Help me to focus, listen and respond to my craving for you instead of my craving for food, for control, for reality tv, for… whatever else is getting in the way.”

It’s a work in progress… I can’t show you a new chart yet because I’m not there.  I’ve not got it all down to a schedule yet.  But I will.  And I’ll come back and show you.

And!  And and and!! How`s this for exercise?  As part of our work, the Hubs and I are responsible for a winter shelter here in Beautiful British Columbia.  On February 22nd, the whole town is participating in a fundraiser for our shelter as well as our food bank and one other in the area. What is the fundraiser?  a 5-10km walk!!  I am the ultimate couch potato.  In fact there are days that walking to the mail box at the end of our driveway hurts.  But I’m co captain-ing a team with the Hubs, and I’m going to get out there and do it!  Here’s the link if you want to know more about “The Coldest Night of the Year”  (or *shameless plug** sponsor our team 😉

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Al La Peanut Butter Sandwiches…

I remember as a kid, my mom and dad reading me a book about Mumford the Magnificent, one of my favorite sesame street characters.  In the book, he tries to remember the magic words to make his trick works. Ever feel like you’re doing that when you pray? Trying to find the right words to convey your message to God, as if he didn’t already know your heart?

My dad and I were watching a program one night, and the preacher was talking about “Stupid Prayers”.  He said they start with “Lord, Aunt Mary is in the Hospital”… Duh!! God knows that she’s in the hospital!! I know that it isn’t actually a “Stupid Prayer”, but at the time, it sure gave us a chuckle.  Now, whenever I pray, I find myself thinking about that. And about 1,001 other things. Have you ever To-Do list prayed? Sadly, this happens to me more then I’d like to admit. If you don’t know what a “To-Do List” prayer is, let me give you an example.

In the beginning of September, The Hubs and I set out to give our thrift store a make over.  This thrift store actually funds our winter emergency shelter, and the funds weren’t exactly where we needed them to be.  The night before we started, I was very specific in my prayers, praying for each of the volunteers and staff, knowing that change is hard for some people, and praying for specific changes we needed to make.  This reminded me of something I needed to pick up for the makeover.  THAT reminded me that I had a movie that needed to be returned in the same mall.  Then I wondered when I’d find time to do that, and wondered what the Hubs’ schedule was like, and if he could pick it up. But maybe he has a Dr’s appointment. I have to pick up some meds, I wonder if when Walmart opens here, their prescription prices will be cheaper. I hope it opens before Christmas because I need to do some Christmas shopping. Oh wait!! I was praying!!!

Or how about the “Barter” prayer? My soul, my flaws, my mistakes, my hurts my hang ups can all be Yours, Lord, for the low low price of getting me out of this jam.  I’m guilty of this one too.  Especially over the last 2 years while The Hubs has been in and out of the hospital, surgery, stress tests, scary words like heart attack floating around.  I’ve bartered. I’ve begged!

Do you know this one? Or the “Genie” prayer? Lord, I want _______. I’ve been good, I’ve followed Your path for my life, I want _____ and infinity other wishes.

One of my biggest fears is being asked to pray in public.  Its a pretty commonly known fact.  When I was working in Toronto, my boss and I had a code.  I would tap her shoe with my foot and she would pray.  The hubs and I have a deal that I probably shouldn’t admit on here lest it blow my cover.  Because our names are so similar, the deal is if someone asks me to pray, he’ll do it, and then later on we’ll play it off as if we just misheard.  Don’t hear what I’m not saying (not bad, right my southern peeps?) If a person came to me and said “I need you to pray with me”, I’m there.  All over it.  But in front of everyone?  No dice.

The hubs asked me a few weeks back what it was that made me anxious of it.  The truth?  I’m worried I wont say the right thing.  That I will have missed an important part of what was said and pray for the wrong thing, or that my prayer wont measure up to someone else’s prayer. That I’ll flip into To-Do prayer mode, right there in front of everyone!  What if I forget something that I was supposed to pray for?

Growing up as a pastors kid, spending roughly 1,664 Days at Church, not including special occasions, meetings, kids groups etc. etc. etc.  I’ve heard people pray.  I’ve heard some incredible prayers.  But when it comes down to me, sharing my heart like that… the words just don’t come.

I carry a notebook in my bag, put it on my nightstand at bedtime, keep it next to me while sitting on the couch watching TV.  In it I write down peoples prayer requests as they share them. During Prayer time on Sunday mornings, while scrolling through Facebook, talking to friends… as they mention it, I jot it down and then when I find quite space, quite time, I take out my notebook and pray.

I start each day, each prayer, each task asking God to help me focus, to give me the attention to detail needed for what I’m facing.

I’m learning to be comfortable with not having the words. God knows my heart. My fears, my joys, my thankful moments, He knows them.  When I pray , when I don’t know what to say, He knows what’s in my heart when I can’t find the words.

Its a work in progress.

prayer

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Prayer, Relationship

 

Tags: , , ,

Inspired by Obedience (a day early even!)

I’ve always been a bit of a different character.  I think that’s the polite way to say it.  As far back as I can remember, I’ve balked at authority, pushed the limits with rules, and generally made my own “Normal”.  Rules make me roll my eyes, and I’ve been known to say “Well, that’s just too bad, it needs to be done my way!” WAY more than is healthy for someone who’s spent their life in ministry. Don’t get me wrong, The Hubs can be just as head strong as me, but he manages it better. M-U-C-H better (Most of the time)!

So, what do you get when you mix 2 very head strong people with some serious baggage and “Church Hurts”?  What we got was 6-8 months where the thought of entering a church door caused anguish.  It was NOT a good time for us, for our relationship, for our souls.  Thankfully a friend invited us to her church (pastors kids…. we’re always looking out for each other), and not really knowing why, we said yes.  We went… we had a plan… in, be seen, out.  EASY.  Or so we thought.

We walked into that church and it literally changed our lives.  In all honesty, it probably saved our relationship with our families and with each other.  A church full of hurting people awaited us in those pews, and told us it was ok to be hurt, it was ok to be mad, but it wasn’t ok to turn our backs on the only source of True Peace.  The Hubs, having spent 9 years previous as a pastor, was “home”.  Where he needed to be at that time.  Me, I was better… not great, but better. Life went on.  We had bumps, hiccups, even a couple road blocks, but life… as far as I knew… didn’t get much better than this.

Then we hit that fateful night.  The conversation that brought us here.  You’ve read how it went for me, (If not, click here to check it out… I’ll wait… go ahead… 🙂 how the Hubs telling me he wanted to go back to ministry as a pastor ripped my world apart.

Up until now I never looked at it from HIS side.  Imagine struggling with “putting off” God’s calling. (Not hard to imagine for those of us who are doing it right now).  Hubs knew, by telling me, that he was opening a door he couldn’t close.

The courage it must have taken, knowing how long and how hard we had tried to grow our family.  The struggles of fertility issues, of miscarriages. The nights he spent trying to console me as my heart cried out for a baby that seemed like it was never coming. And even though he knew it would mean that our adoption plans went on hold, he knew what he HAD to do.

He knew that a 75% pay cut would be hard to swallow.  He knew that I had sworn long ago that my kids wouldn’t grow up as I had, moving from city to city, never having a “childhood friend” for more then a couple years before it was time to go on to the next place.  He knew that asking me to go and be a pastors wife would stretch me beyond my wildest dreams.  He knew that with my history of “running” that he could tell me and I’d say “Nope, this isn’t what I signed up for” and leave.

He knew all those things, but more than that…. he knew he had no choice.  He knew that his obedience to Gods calling outweighed all those things, and he knew he had to take the chance.  I can’t imagine the stress, the anxiety he would have felt in those days leading up to his breaking point.

His willingness, his NEED to put himself out there, and say “This is what I have to do” inspires, challenges and confronts me every day.  I may not always remember to tell him, or to act like it, but not a moment goes by without me knowing how Blessed I am to have him as my husband and best friend.

As I work through the struggle of my own life in ministry, however that may look, it is because of The Hubs support that I have the courage to look at MY options in all of this.

us

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 4, 2013 in Adoption, Babies, Bible Study, McHubby, Mess, Move, Prayer

 

Tags: , , ,