Pilgrim's Journey > February 2009 Archives
February 13, 2009
Encouragement in Hard Times
I just wanted to share this. I know lots and lots of people are having really hard times right now. I thought this my help.
February 18, 2009
Bearing Gifts as if They're Burdens
Today on the radio I was listening to Ginny Owen's song--I think its called "Free"-- and part of it's lyrics are this:
Turnin' molehills into mountains
Makin' big deals out of small ones
Bearing gifts as if they're burdens
This is how it's been /
CHORUS: You're free to dance
Forget about your two left feet
And you're free to sing
Even joyful noise is music to Me
You're free to love
Cause I've given you My love
And it's made you free
I have set you free!
That "bearing gifts as if they're burdens" resonated in my mind for a while. Rolled around on my tongue while the chorus was sung. Bearing gifts as if they're burdens. Is that possible? Ginny Owens, in case you don't know, is a Christian singer who is visually impaired, although its hardly noticeable. I wondered briefly if the line in the song is about her own blindness. Did she consider it a burden? And then realize it's a gift?
That's when it hit me. Not only is it possible that I bear gifts as though they're burdens, but probably. More than likely. I wonder if we all do that.
That ADD I've got going on? That I consider a huge burden to me because I can't pay attention? You know, that has come in awfully handy when relating to children. And because I can't pay attention (or rather, technically, I can't focus because I am paying attention to too many things at once) I notice EVERYTHING. The ladybug crawling on the floor. The way the man down the aisle at church looks sad, so I say a prayer for him. The tension in someone's voice. The way the leaves are blowing outside the window so I say a quick thank you to God for trees, and wind, and the sun, and..and..and...look at how that puddle outside is sparkling in the sun, man, I love sparkly things, which reminds me of that sparkly necklace the lady nex to me is wearing, wow God thank you for sparkly things like puddles and the sun and Heaven and I'm sure Heaven is going to be sparkly too, right and...wait, was someone talking?
And how about the fact that I have a big childish side? Its always felt like a burden because I JUST WANT TO GROW UP ALREADY. Am I ever going to be a normal wife who cooks dinners and cleans the house and goes to Tupperware parties (*shudder*) But what if, like some have told me, not childish, but child-like. What if that has been part of what has made me an amazing teacher? The fact that I can relate so well to children because I know what is going on in their heads. I haven't forgotten, like many other teachers I know, what it's like to be 5 years old. I know how hard it is to sit still in school or to concentrate when its a beautiful day outside. This has given me a blessed amount of patience with children. Something that has drawn literally hundreds of children to me over the years, crawling into my lap or whispering into my ear or putting their heads on my shoulder when they felt they couldn't turn to a "real grown up." Because being like them made me safe.
Another thing I have considered a burden is my hour-long commute to work every day. But is it really? I have learned to take Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore teaching tapes in the car with me, every day. I don't let myself listen to them anywhere else, and they are my favorites. Reserved just for car rides. So on my long commute, I have 60 (and sometimes over 90) minutes to just pray and learn about God. Sometimes He and and I have long talks. That gives me a lot of time to pray for other people. Or, let's face it, sometimes enough time to get into a big old argument with the Almighty (and lots of time for me to lose, as well.) On hard days, it gives me lots of time to pour my heart out, feel heard, and get my head screwed back on straight before I ever arrive at work, and by the time I get there I am feeling thankful and blessed again.
These are just a few of the things that came to my mind today listening to that Ginny Owens song. How about you? Those kids that are driving you insane right now? The ones you prayed for... are they really burdens? What if they were suddenly gone? Where would you be without them? How about that promotion you prayed for where now you are in a new office but you are the only Christian there? Didn't you pray for God to use you? Is it a burden to be the only one there, or is it a place for your light to shine? How about that thorn in your side... that eating disorder, that limp, that loneliness that has made you so compassionate towards other people that in spite of your "burden" you've now got a bigger heart?
Is your burden really a burden? Or is it a gift in disguise?
February 22, 2009
A Personal Thank You to All of You
I would like to say thank you to the hundreds of you who have written me letters over the past few years. I don't know that I've taken the time to do that here. There have been hundreds of e-mails with words of encouragement, and hundreds of e-mails with questions and comments. Those have always meant a lot to me. A few of you have become my friends over the years. Some of you have come and gone. Some of you have dropped a note just to say hi. I'd like you to know that I read every comment that comes through the blog (except for the "junk" comments from spammers-- those get filtered out immediately, so ANY DAY NOW, spam bots are welcome to stop the spamming here, because they will NEVER show up on the site...DUH.) I have to approve every comment that shows up on the board and so I read them all. (Just FYI also, those of you who have been known to write me nasty ones to hurt my feelings, it doesn't work. I laugh at you, then delete.)
Anyway, I appreciate those of you who take time to write with questions, comments, and concerns. Although I may not reply personally to every comment or every e-mail, every one of them is much appreciated. Throughout the years, Pilgrim's Journey has become somewhat of a ministry for me, enabling me to reach out to other hurting people and sharing encouragement with them. God has made my mess into my ministry and ultimately all appreciation goes to Him, for He can work good out of every situation if we allow Him to. :)
February 26, 2009
God with Skin On
I have nothing profound or really even thoughtful to say today.
I just need to write. There are a lot of people who write to me thanking me for making me think, or for helping them draw nearer to God, or giving them hope, and things like that. Today I just need to be my pathetic human self, and hope for the best.
Today I need God to show up for me.
I am desperate for God.
Always seeking Him, but sometimes more than others, this week has been one of those weeks where I find myself once again hungry for Him. There is nothing in particular going on in my life causing this. A small medical worry, and some bills I need help paying, but really, that isn't anything new. I have nothing really that I can complain about. Things are going just fine, really. I truly have a good life, and I am blessed. There are things from my life that still hurt pretty deeply (Sharon, what else? I am trying so hard to forget about what she did), but every day I pray for the Lord to help me let go of them and move on, because I know and believe that He directs my steps and that He will work everything out for my good. Despite the pain I've been through in the past 14 months, I do believe God will make good come out of it--as He already has in some ways.
So. Yah. Nothin' to complain about.
Still saying my affirmations out loud. Still thanking God every day.
Lonely at times. A little tired. There are moments when I get weary from being the one who is always has a big smile on my face, always so positive, always so uplifting, always trying to make the best out of every situation. I see people around me throwing fits and whining and complaining about little things, and sometimes I think, man...I wish God would let me do that once in a while! I want to be a little lazy today. I wish I could tell people off sometimes. Give them a what-for. Have a few come-to-Jesus meetings with certain people. HMPH.
Once in a while it would be nice if God wasn't constantly DEALING WITH ME about every.little.thing. But He is ON MY BACK. Let me tell ya! The Lord has been calling me to higher and higher standards all the time. Don't complain.Give the cashier a compliment even though you feel cruddy this morning. Push your chair in. Pick up other peoples' trash. Donate your stuff instead of selling it. Give your favorite necklace to that lady sitting in that booth and tell her God loves her. Go the extra mile.
And it is OKAY--don't get me wrong. The Lord disciplines those He loves, and the Lord must love me an awful lot. And if He is working to prepare me for a greater calling in life, and this is how he is preparing me, then I am all for it. If God were leaving me alone, I'd be worried.
The thing is... I'm a bit weary the past couple of days. I need a little love. I need a little encouragement and not so much discpline. I need a little uplifting myself. I need someone to be here for me, rather than me being here for everyone else. I need it to be okay if I don't have my big, cute smile and cute haircut and cute outfit on. I need it to be okay if I'm not appearing adorable for a little bit. I need to be able to be vulnerable with someone, and have it be okay, and not fear being rejected (again.)
I need Jesus right here beside me. Like I was telling Him today, I need to reach out for His hand, and feel him grab mine and squeeze it. I need to hear him tell me things are going to be okay. I need to know and feel Him walking beside me. I need to know I have His attention. Right now I need to do more than read it in the Bible and know it, I need to SEE it. I need His comfort, and I need it pretty huge right now. Just for a few days.
I need God to show up with skin on.
How I cannot wait for that day when I see Him face to face and bow before Him, and finally at long last hear Him say those words I've waited for ALL my life... "Well done, good and faithful servant."
February 28, 2009
Where Can I Buy the Sybil Movie? (Sally Field Version)
I have tons of people ask me and write comments about where to find the Sally Field version of the Sybil movie from 1976.
Even though for many years it was impossible to find, Amazon has had it available for a couple of years. You can get it through this link if you like:
It used to be one of my favorite movies...now it makes me sad because it reminds me so much of Sharon and I, so I can't watch it anymore.
Therapy went so well with Sharon, and especially Mae... she and Mae had such a special relationship, just like Dr. Woodard and Sybil did...
but it hurts to watch now. So I don't anymore. It makes me miss Sharon so much.
I wish that things would have turned out differently. I wish I had never met Sharon, because I don't know if all the pain has been worth it.
Anyway. That's where you can get your movie.