Archives for the month of: August, 2012

 

This me as a young Mom.  I remember this person vaguely.  Recently I read an article about comparing yourself with others.  Yes, I do that like many women.  However, I have found myself comparing me now to the me I used to be.  

 

Getting older was never a big deal for me.  At age sixteen I had gray hair, so when my friends got their first gray hair at thirty years of age that was no big deal for me.  Been there and done that kind of thing.  

 

Earlier this year my doctor (who is my age) commented on my health.  He wanted me to take a new medication and I did not want ANOTHER to my growing pile of medicines.  His comment was, “You are 60 years old.  That means you have at least another twenty to twenty five years of life.”  

 

WHAT!!!!! 

 

I never really thought of my life that way.  

 

What I have thought of though, lots of times, is that following breast cancer a few years ago and the subsequent radiation and chemical therapy for five years (the daily pill kind not the chemical in your blood king) I want the me I used to be.  Getting up sometimes is overwhelming.  Just getting out of bed, with the joints not wanting to work, with the bones hurting, with no breath. . . 

 

I remember that woman — she had energy, grit determination . . . life.

 

Some days I do in fact have that woman inside of me . . . 

 

My prayers are that whatever I have left (the 20 years or so) that woman is inside of me combined with the new woman that knows to live life more fully in the moment than ever before.  

 

I want to live all that God has for me, for however long He has it for me, and those days when it is so incredibly difficult to get out of bed (physically) I trust He will give me the strength to carry on in His will. 

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Sacrifice of Praise

 

I am studying through the Psalms with Wendy Pope (http://wendypope.org/psalm-study/. I am a bit behind as I am only on Psalm 13.  While I am behind Wendy, I am right where God wishes me to be.  Today I listened to her comments on Psalm 13, where David is asking God “How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” (Psalm 13:1, KJV)

 

I am in a season of “how long” and have been for what seems like forever.  Today’s lesson came just at the right time in God’s time.

 

One of the things that really spoke to me today was to bring a “sacrifice of praise” in the midst of our “how long.”  How difficult it is to bring a sacrifice to God.  He laid out for the Israelites the sacrifices they were to bring and He was very specific.  These sacrifices were the first fruits not the left-overs.  I realized that in the midst of my “how longs” a sacrifice of praise is just as difficult, perhaps more so, as a first fruit of my labor.  First fruits of my labor are technically outside of my body.  A sacrifice of praise must come from inside my heart.  This is of the most difficult of gifts.  To bring a sacrifice of praise . . . I shall do this in the midst of my “how long” . . . coming from inside surely will turn my face back to God.

 

Recently I read, again:

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (KJV)

I don’t like to suffer.  I don’t like pain.  And recently there has been a lot of both and both physical and emotional.

A few years ago, in a Bible study, I read the above verse and was struck at that time with the fact that I am going to suffer here on earth – there is no option.  But in reading the verse I realized that I too have a joy set before me . . . I will spend eternity with my God and my Saviour.

This gives me strength and peace in the midst of my pain.  God loves me! My hope is in Him!

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“Today we are starved for rest, to know God beyond what we can do for Him.  We are starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God Himself.” (Invitation to Solitude and Silence, by Ruth Haley Barton, p. 21)

 

This is freedom to praise – to know God just by the presence of our being. 

 

One of the biggest difficulties I face on a daily basis is that I was brought up to believe in “production.”  If you are not “producing” you are not worthy.  While I was employed I served . . . God, my family, my fellow man . . . I was productive and thus I was worthy of taking up space here on this earth.  Now I struggle daily with being worthy and many times feel extremely unworthy.

 

However, I am hearing that God wants me just for me.  Yes, as it says in James “faith without works is dead.”  When God calls me to do something according to His will, I am to participate, to “produce.”  However, sometimes God is calling me to be . . . to be His . . . to hear Him.

 

One may think that because I am retired I have plenty of silence.  This is so incredibly false.  My mind tells me all kinds of things continuously . . . I am not working I am not worth anything since I don’t receive a paycheck.  I am not of any use to God, at the present time He does not have me teaching or “doing” anything “worthy” . . . just studying His Word and being a support to others.  The noise in my head is overwhelming.

 

I have begun reading Invitation to Solitude and Silence, not as an escape from the world but as a possibility of being of more to God and through Him. 

 

11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:11-13 King James Version)