Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Moving to Ohio has been a challenge for our family. For me personally, I have left the comfortable and known life of the South and of life in Milledgeville behind. While it was not a perfect place and I would have and still would love to be closer to my family, it was a known entity and comfortable. I am far from being comfortable and at home here but it has only been about a month and it has been so cold of late that I could almost be a hermit in order to stay warm.
While we have said all along that God has plans for us here, it is hard to be patient for them to be revealed. Yet, I look back and am reminded that even in the transition time I have felt I know a bit of God's plan, at least for me. For some time, I have felt the need to delegate or relinquish some of my responsiblities of the ministries I led to better focus on my own family. I did do some of this but not near what I probably needed to do. Also, I need to trust God in all things. Easy to say but so hard to do. God has His own plans for Dana and the children, but for me my valley has been letting go of a lot of independence, self-sufficiency and identity and control issues. God has been with me all the way and provided for my every need. The time that we were separated as a family and I was coming to terms with my own sin issues was actually bittersweet. The time I spent in prayer, journaling and reading was wonderful. I felt God beside me yet I was grieving and still struggling. These issues are still present. It is kind of like an addiction. The tendency is there, but I am more conscious of the triggers and the symptoms or characteristics so I am just more are and sensitive to it all.
I love that my family is together and I really believe Ohio will be okay to live in, once I get used to the cold and snow. Snow is not all that it is made out to be.....
Of late I have felt pretty down about things for me personally. I miss my home and so want it to sell. Please Lord, provide a buyer quickly. I am nervous about eventually buying here after we sell in Georgia because I am nervous about Dana's job security and the sale of a home in Ohio. Not at a peace or maybe it is that lack of trust. I am lost most days. I know of house work that needs or should be done, yet I have no desire or motivation to do it. Forrest needs someone to play with him and to teach him a bit. So sadly, I lack the energy or desire to even do this. Finally, I have time to scrapbook! But the desire and energy are not there. I am involved in a Bible Study. This is the one highlight of my week. I haven't really made any friends or connected yet. However, I do feel some peace and serenity here. The other activities including the church we are attending, I don't feel peace about at all. I still feel lost and homeless. One of the things I know is that my personal time with God needs and should be renewed quickly. I need uninterrupted time with God to keep my eyes and heart on Him. I will never hear His call for my life here in Ohio unless I get close enough and tuned in well enough to hear. I need to be in a praise and gratitude mind set. Instead of naming my disappointments and focusing on the things I don't have, I need to be counting my blessings. Remembering that one of the reasons I believe I am here in Ohio is to focus on my two kids and my husband. I need to reconnect with them. For so many years, I have talked a good game about being a good wife and mommy, yet my family probably wouldn't agree that I was one. I have become grumpy, impatient, unhappy and business like with my little ones. Seeing me smile is a rarity that they notice and comment on. Why is that? I don't enjoy being mommy and haven't in a long while. They are loved deeply but I have viewed them as interruuptions and bothersome details in my life of ministry. I need to focus on being there physically, emotionally and mentally for my family. I need to take care of getting healthy spiritually before all the other parts fall into place properly. Mary Louise in particular needs a good mommy role model. She also needs a safe haven to come home to after a long and challenging school day. Snippy and distracted, grumpy and impatient mommy in cluttered house is not it!
While I know for certain that God has called me to Children's Ministry and I love it! I don't miss the details and the volunteer shortage issues that happen each week. I miss the kids and I really miss the team members I got to serve with. I miss so much of CM, but I don't miss it at all. That doesn't make a lot of sense, I know. I have long needed a break even if it was in delegating some of the many tasks. So much of the weekly prep work happened solely because of me. I don't say that to praise me, just the opposite. That was one of my sin struggles. First,God was left out of the ministry. I totally relied on my physical and mental abilities to handle it all. Secondly,I wouldn't train up the team members and bless them with the opportunities to do a lot of things they could have done to help. I did a lot of physical work, but God did all of the spiritual stuff for the kids, families and staff totally without me. I was selfish in the service and it came at a great cost to me spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. My family also paid a great cost. Lesson learned is balance is critical. Balance in family and ministry and balance in public and private time with God. What does God want of me in Children's Ministry now? I don't know. I do know He has something prepared for me. He has not given me the experiences and opportunities at NCC to not go on somehow in CM at some point. I am watching, waiting and praying for the right time and right work for Him.
In the past weeks, I have felt lost and alone. While God did provide some contacts here for me, I don't have and honestly, didn't have in Milledgeville, the girlfriends factor. I had some ladies that I could call and chat with while the kids played at Chic-Fil-A. There were some ladies that would call me for advice or some sort of help. I had lots of people that I saw and talked with weekly at church. But someone to bear my soul to? Nope, there wasn't anyone I could talk with about Dana's job and stresses with it, the struggles I faced in CM and home and child-rearing or even the lack of shopping options or a good recipe. I was in a crowd but often very lonely. So why is it so hard now to feel lonely? Maybe because no one is calling me anymore about anything and I don't have those familiar faces to check in on each week. I find that my bloggy friends are the largest comfort yet again to me. I just wish for one good friend to do life with here.
Again, I need to focus on God and His call for my life right now... That is to focus on making my home a safe haven for my stressed husband and for my daughter; to focus on giving my son some fun and intentional learning experiences; to focus on managing home and household in a godly and right way; to wait patiently on God and the revealing of any other purpose for my life, particularly in regard to Children's Ministry; to simply trust God in ALL things; to get myself back in shape physically, mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually which means time intentionally spent with Him in reading, journaling, memorization and prayer. It can not depend on how well connected I feel to a certain church, girlfriend or dwelling place. It must depend totally on my focus on God as the provider of all things and healer, comforter and sufficiency in my life. God is great - God is good- I need to live like I really believe it. Focus! Focus!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tough Week

This has been a tough week for me personally. I have felt so lost and out of place and out of sorts. In the past month, I have given up my house that I love and the nice appliances that make life more convenient. The things I did like Children's Ministry I have given up and but more importantly, I have been stripped of anything that resembles a purpose. I have had a really hard time getting into a routine and finding joy in housekeeping and just being home all day. Groceries are expensive. I am concerned about the cost of living here - the gas heat is on a lot and gasoline and food is expensive. We no longer buy OJ because it is about $4/gallon. Ouch! I feel a bit cut off from people. Like I have been dropped here and am all alone I am cold and the snow has finally started getting old to me. I don't find the snow fun. It is pretty but after a while all of the white and the gray gets old. Maybe it is seasonal emotional disorder or depression or cabin fever. Plus I have had a sore throat and not felt super. Simply put, I haven't been very happy this week. A pity party of sorts perhaps. But honestly, I have really struggled. I am trying so hard to be positive and patient. But at the same time, my feelings are just the opposite.
Then I am confronted in my Crazy Love Bible study about the greatness - a word that is not sufficient- of my God. I am reminded that this life is not about me. My life is not about me. It is all about God. God is using the present circumstances for His glory. He is going to use this sad and frustrating time to show me and others how He continues to provide and will use me for His glory.
I am also reminded that the mundane things like laundry, dusting, scooping litter and playing Legos is important and God is using me for His purposes in those things. I need to remember to praise Him and honor Him in all of those things.
There is so much more I want to describe, but for now I will leave it with the video from Chris Tomlin.