Sunday, January 13, 2013

placing our strength

When I first got married, I was still going to school full time. One morning, as I woke up and prayed for strength to get through my day, I realized I wasn't counting on Jesus to be my strength. I was counting on caffeine. I gave up coffee for a while. I have gone back and forth since then. However, after the birth of my second child, I've been an avid coffee drinker. When I found out I was pregnant in September, I worked to ween myself off again, only to go back to work full time and pick up the habit, yet again.
One morning, after my 2nd cup, I felt my blood pressure go up. I worked the rest of the day to drink water to try and get it out of my system, but by the time I went to bed; my legs were swollen up to my knees. I have up coffee and caffeine that day - cold turkey.  I have had a few glasses of pop or cups of coffee to ward off migraines and crankiness, but I'm down to a cup/glass for each week. It's pretty much just a reward for making it through the week.
For the most part, it has been a battle of will and taste more than anything. I really, really like Coke-a-Cola over Sprite and Sierra Mist. But in the back of my mind, I remembered those days when I was so convicted. If God was my strength, how could I rely so heavily on something else to get through my day?
God told Paul in 2 Corinthians "'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" (12:19). He gives me each breath. He's given me the power to make it through each day.
Am I tired? Yes. Do I feel like I need coffee at 9:00 in the morning after I've been awake for 4 hours and was up 7 times (at least) putting kids back to bed or going to the bathroom? Yes. Are there days when I feel like this baby - Jackson - growing inside of me is sucking all of my energy? YES! However, I need to lean on Jesus. I need to trust his strength. He will sustain me. He will reward teh sacrifices I have made.
There are days when my husband and I pray for fast sleep. Fast sleep is when you get 6 hours worth of sleep in the 3 hours that you actually have to sleep. The thing is, God gives it to us because we depend on him for it. When we trust him to strengthen out minds and bodies, he does. His power is made perfect through us, when we are weak.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Reprioritizing ...

Sorry for the delay in posts. Hopefully, this post will explain things...

Since I have made the switch from teaching high school to teaching junior high, I have learned quickly that we need to layout priorities for students and often explain to students what their priorities are - whether they want it or not. God has been doing this very thing for me. While I tell my students things like, "If you want to act like elementary kids, then I'll treat you like elementary kids;" My poor God is looking at me and saying, "If you want to act like a junior high student, then I'll treat you like one."
I am a workaholic. The more I have to do, the more I feel like I get gone. I've been wanting to go back to school for a few months now. While everyone screams that I'm crazy - I've signed up for classes to get my certificate to preach. I'm trying to build my own business. I work full time, help my husband in ministry, have two kids, and I'm pregnant. I feel like I'm doing great, but I put a lot of things - important things - aside so that I can get other things done.
God is after me to listen to him and learn. When we first moved to Parma, I spent a lot of time with just my kids in our tiny apartment. I prayed a lot, talked to God a lot, asked for answers a lot. Now I just feel like I'm plodding along because I don't have time to ask him questions, let a lone wait for answers. I haven't blogged because I haven't asked him what I should write and when he does give me something, "I don't have time" to write it down.
Then I read Matthew 14. This chapter starts with the beheading of John the Baptist. Verse 13 says, "When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him ...". Jesus wanted to be alone, to rest, to pray, to mourn, to whatever. He didn't have time. However, the crowds followed him and he taught them anyway. He pushed through it and did it. He had a great excuse to just sit, but he taught - THEN he fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. THEN, he sent everyone away, went to pray, and walked on water!
We see Jesus go from a state of mourning with the desire to be alone to performing 2 amazing miracles. There goes my opportunity to make excuses.
I want what God wants, but I have to do it in his time and in his order. What wre we missing when we don't have time? When we are too tired? Or too busy? Or too sad? Or too _____? We may be missing our opportunities to be a part of  our greatest miracles. I don't want to miss out on the chance to be a witness to any of God's miracles, or be used as a conduit for God to create a miracle. No matter my excuse, I want to be ready to be used by Him!