Friday, January 16, 2009

Moderation and Motivation

I think just about everyone out there can agree, it is cold out. This morning it was -19 with a wind chill of -40! I keep looking out my window thinking, but the snow is so beautiful! How can something with so much beauty be so harmful? So breathtaking, and yet so harsh at the same time.
I know this is the way life is. There are always things that will take our breath away in it's beauty, but can be so detrimental. This is sin. There are so many things in the world that are simple, yet tempting. I find my self thinking more and more about all the things I am doing wrong. All the things I want to change in my life. Oh, but the wonder of relaxing! That is where my biggest downfall lies. I love to relax. To take things slowly. This is not a bad thing mind you. It can be very beneficial. Until I decide to go online instead of exercise, to nap instead of clean my house, to watch tv instead of teach my daughter. Even things like eating out, reading, talking endlessly, all of these things can be bad if not done in moderation.
I am still learning the word moderation. To stop resting when I should be doing something, but to know when I need rest. (When there are things to be done but I am in NEED of rest is not the same as just resting because you don't want to get up, and get things done) Another area where I fall is food. I love food. I love making food, trying new food, even just the smells are amazing to me. Yet, I don't always remember moderation. Which can be a bit of a problem when you are always hungry, such as I am. Moderation in my activities is often a down fall too. It is balance that I crave, and strive towards, sometimes.
Yet another word God is teaching me is motivation. I think this goes along with wanting to relax too much. I am just not motivated enough to get up, and do the things I know I ought to do. I know in my head when I am being lazy, the problem I have is putting some action behind it! Even my spiritual life is in great need of motivation. So many times there are things I would rather do, or feel I need to do than speed time in God's word, praying, or just listening to him.
As I said, these are things God has been teaching me, well speaking to my heart/head may be a better way of putting it. So I am very much a working progress, and will continue to be the rest of my life.
For me it hasn't so much been the things I read, hear, or learn that are leading me to moderation, and motivation. It is purely a nudge from God. The conviction I get, (or sore bones:D) from doing one thing to long, when I know God has more for me. I know this is something he will continue to teaching me about for a long time.
I just want to ask you, where are you at in your daily life concerning moderation, and being motivated? Are you enjoying so much of a good thing that it becomes bad? Are you keeping your heart moving both in life and spiritually? How do these word affect you, where you are right now?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blessings and Challenges

Wow, what a week! There are so many ways to describe this week, so much happened. I don't even know where to start. Well, here is my attempt. ;)
On Tuesday my friends and I went shopping. We bought 250 lbs of flour among many other things. That was the beginning to a very long week of service. At 8pm that night we started making the sponge for 250 bread bowls. Why so many??
Our church has a team in Sudan, Africa. They serve by building, and working in medical clinics, reaching out to hurting people, and just loving on them. I love Africa. I have never been there, but there is a bit of my heart that has always been softened for them. Every year or two our church sends a team of people for a few weeks to go help the team living there. It is very costly to go, but it is a calling, so we go. It is as simple as that. Almost. There is still the hard part; raising the money to go. Here is where the 250 bread bowls came in. We were a part of a fundraiser to send our team. Our church held a soup and sweets benefit. Two kinds of soup, served in a homemade bread bowl, and so many yummy deserts. Such a good night, and very filling.
So that brings you up to date about the why. Here is the week.....
We started making the bread at 8 pm Tus. There were 3 of us doing the main work and a few other girls that came some for hours, some for the entire night to help us. We worked around the clock, no stopping. Although we did rotate from time to time to get some sleep. The last bowls were pulled out of the oven at 5:30 am Fri. morning. 58 hours after the first sponge was started! Of course there was also clean up, the shopping, and prep time. Not to mention the benefit its self, which some of us worked at until it was over. So in the end we are figuring apox. 70-75 hours from Tus through Fri. What a week! I personally got about 5 hours of sleep in that time. Crazy!!!
There were many ups and downs during that time. Physically and Emotionally. In the chaos of it all my two year old was very sick, and by my side as much as she could be. Those of us married basically neglected our husbands, who were so great about helping us all they could. Even to the point of learning how to make the bread. That's right people, my husband who is very well known for not cooking learned how to make bread. He then took over the entire operation for two hours by himself and sent us main girls out to lunch with our date money. All because he could see the stress mounting to great proportions. We were all so blessed by my husband. I am so lucky :) Thank you honey!
There were so many hours of uncontrollable laughing, and probably just as much crying. It was not easy, but the time spent together was well worth it. The people that will be helped makes it well worth it. So many things make me glad that I've done it. Although my body is still catching up with me :p
We all spent New Year's night together. We talked about our last year and the coming year. Most of you that know me already know that I did not have a very good year, and I am hoping for many changes this year. I spent some time with my two closest friends that night. I shared with them a box of things I have from my baby Jordan. We cried so hard. Yet, I was very blessed to be able to share that with them, to talk, and cry, and be loved by my dear ones through that pain. I can not express in words how grateful I am for that time with them. Bringing in the new year with out my baby was something I worried about. God sent them I know. He had them there at just the right time. Thank you girls. I love you.
There was a lot of sharing this week, a lot of encouragement, and godly advice. I wanted to post it all, but really for now I feel like just storing it all up in my heart.
There were also a lot of challenges. We were very tired, and not always nice to be around. We ran out of stuff, and were worried about time. There was also a person that God was definitely using to test us. I got angry more than once. It was a hard week and we made it through, but there was so much going on in my house, and my heart, and my mind. It was emotionally straining.
I have learned much, I have felt much, I have loved much, and I have grown much. Again though I don't know what to say. I don't know how to express all God has done this week. Maybe soon.
So I will move ahead. The benefit went well. I believe somewhere around 1600$ was raised. We ran out of soup, although we had about 80 bread bowls left, and the deserts were sssoooooooo good. It was a night of fun, and exhaustion. We really could have used so many more volunteers, but it was great to have the ones we did! I stayed until most of the clean up was done.
Afterward the sweet girl that put the whole thing together sat down with me, and we started talking, and talking, and talking. We then decided to take our conversation out for coffee, so off we went. I didn't get home until 3 am. Oh, but I was so blessed. We had so many life giving, encouraging, teaching talks in those hours. We got to know each other. No matter how tired I was, I would not have traded sleep for that time. I so love this girl, and will say again, I was so blessed. I would love to share with you some of the wonderful things I am thinking on from this time, but for now, it will wait.
Of course Sat I slept. My husband wouldn't let me do anything else. Now with some sleep, and of course coffee, I am starting to feel half way human again.
One major thing I will share with you is something God told me this morning. I was sitting during worship this morning,(God understood that my body was to weak to stand) as I started singing. From somewhere deep down in my heart I was so focused on honoring God when I had this thought pop into my head. God I haven't done anything for you this week. I haven't read your word, I haven't spent time with you. I haven't done anything to really teach my daughter about you. I haven't worshiped you. I have been so horrible. Then very clearly I felt God say to me: You honored me with your life, you worshiped me with your service, you taught your daughter by being an example for her. God told me that making bread bowls honored Him. That my service was living my life in a godly way. Now I am not telling you this to boast. Please know that. I am telling you because it was so humbling you guys. I have never felt so loved by the Father than this morning. I have never been so encouraged about how I live than I was at the moment. It was such honey on my spirit. I was so close to crying, and still am as I write this. God is so amazing, in the mist of my tiredness, stress, and other things that infuriated me this week, God has blessed me in my heart so much. I hope that makes sense.
This was my week. There is so much more in my heart. I was planning on posting it all. This was not the way I was thinking about this post, but now that I have written I feel this is the way it should be for now. I will store up the treasures from this week. I will let them seep in my spirit, and soon I will be back to share them with you. Maybe one at a time, maybe all at once, I don't know. We will just have to see what God leads. Until then I will be praying blessings for all of you.