Saturday, October 27, 2012


I've not posted in a while because I've been doing some self searching, courtesy of the book we are doing in my women's care group at church.  The last few weeks have had me analyze the priorities in my life and why I act the way I do, whether or not I truly give my best to those things God has deemed priorities in my life, and how well I deal with forgiveness (of other people and myself).

Through the discussions and study questions, I've realized that I'm dealing with an issue of pride.  Now, if you've met me or know me, you may not think I'm a prideful person.  (At least, I don't think so.)  I'm not one who goes around telling others how talented and wonderful I am.  I don't brag about my accomplishments.  I don't treat others like I'm better than they are.  I would say I am a fairly humble person. 



See, pride is not just bragging and talking about yourself.  God revealed to me that pride isn't just shown in your words and how you approach others, but also in your actions and the way you approach tasks.  I'm very methodical about the way I approach things, always trying to plan for every possibility so I'm not caught unprepared.  I've always thought that was a good quality to have.  Truth is, it can be, if done properly.  I've been doing it wrong.  I learned that when I start planning and organizing without consulting with God first, I don't allow Him to work in the midst, leading to frustration and failure.  This has been made abundantly clear in my quest for employment.

I belong to several job search sites and have a listing of others I rotate throughout the week as I do my searches.  I literally spend a minimum of three hours a day following leads, checking out companies, completing applications, etc.  I have applied to several, with little nibbles here and there, but nothing has led to a regular schedule and paycheck.  I've been so busy working in my sphere of knowledge and resources that I haven't let God work with His.  My pride and "preparation" have pushed Him to the side.

During Bible study this week, my pastor made the following statement:  "If you are in the midst of hardship, worship."  Hmmm.  I began thinking about the hardship my family is facing now in the form of finances.  I posted before that the need to supplement the household income was definitely coming and the sources we thought were available have not come through.  They still have not.  Which led me to think of another thing my pastor said within the past week.  He asked how far we need to fall or how much we need to go through/have God remove from us before we "get it."  We can't work in our own power because that power is not sufficient enough for us to accomplish what God wants us to do.  Nor does working in our own power allow God to get the glory for what has been accomplished.  When we do things in our own power (and are successful), we have a tendency to say we did it, which is a form of worshipping and trusting in ourselves, our abilities (that are God-given, by the way), and our accomplishments. Where is God in that scenario?  No where.  Sometimes we minimize our blessing because we minimized God in the process.  We need to worship Him, to ask for guidance, and to trust Him to work throughout the situation because He truly knows what is best for us and will provide for us if we let Him. 

Trust.  That word again.

I haven't been truly trusting God in the area of my employment.  Other areas, yes.  But not that one.   I realized that I need to turn the search over to Him because He knows where He wants me to be, what He wants me to do, and who He wants me to impact.  I need to allow Him to lead me where He would have me to be. 

To TRUST Him in the process. 

And let my pride go.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Authentically Me

My church is currently conducting its yearly women's care group.  Each year a book on spiritual growth as it applies to women is chosen for study and self analysis.  Anyone interested signs up and buys the book.  The ladies are then broken into smaller groups for ease of conversation and fellowship.  The books are read and discussed in the small groups at a weekly gathering.  Last year the group read A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George.  (SO good.  If you haven't read it, you MUST do so!) This year the group is reading The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer.  The book is based on the men's Resolution from the movie Courageous.  Except of course, it addresses women's issues and concerns.

I can say that I am truly enjoying this book.  The group has read the first three sections and is reading the fourth for this week.  One of the sections, "Authentically Me," really hit home for me, especially after my last post.  When I published my post, I hadn't finished the section, but after reading through it and thinking about what I wrote, I realized a bit more about my identity crisis.

In the section titled Authentically Me, there is a chapter titled "Intelligent Design." In this chapter was a set of lines that sort of opened my eyes to my issue.  Shirer wrote "I've often based my self-worth on some second-rate, inconsequential detail or assumption--like the way I looked, or the clique I fit into, or the way I measured up to a culturally set standard--to determine the type of woman I should be, to dictate the kinds of things I spent most of my time thinking about and majoring on."  Wow.  How many of us have had that very same experience?

While that set of lines opened my eyes, the next set from the chapter "Supernatural Selection" really brought the picture into focus.  (You may want to sit down for this one.)  "Rather than seeking to impress and outperform others, and rather than feeling ashamed by what you don't have and can't do, relish the opportunity to stand as a living, walking, eating, breathing example of what God's grace can do with a woman He has set apart, weaknesses and all, to be a sacred vessel in His service.  You are a purposeful place setting.  A masterpiece worth celebrating."  Were you sitting down?  I hope so.

I've been thinking about these two sets of lines and how applicable they are to my current state of  mind.  I've been frustrated over not finding steady work as quickly as I would like.  And I realized that this frustration stems from the thought of how people view me now that I am not employed full time.  There are feelings of embarrassment and uncertainty.  But there shouldn't be.  Yet, there are. 

I  keep wondering if God wants me to discover more about myself and who I truly am before I can move on and impact someone else.  You know, a purposeful place setting.  A masterpiece worth celebrating.  Hmmm.

I've got some things to meditate on.