Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Confused and Tired

I'm a bit confused right now.

I started a new job in August that I thought was what God had for me. Now I'm beginning to wonder....

We opened up on August 29 and since then my life has been working 12-16hr days 6 days a week, being on the phone with work frequently when I'm not there, being awakened during the night due to work calls, learning by constantly messing up (verses being trained), stress, constantly hearing from the warden how I've messed up. Add to that that we had 2 physicians who were over the top horrible (one was a princess who lasted 4 days and was very mean to the staff and the other was an unmedicated Bi-Polar who yelled and talked incessantly - honestly, I'm not making this stuff up!) that did not work out; so I've been without for much of this time. A nurse practitioner who loves God and is really skilled but who has missed 1/3 of the work days due to various reasons. Also we've been down an RN for 2 weeks. Maybe I'm dramatic but I feel like the children of Israel when Pharaoh had them continue to make bricks but did not give them the needed materials (Exodus 5:6-9). Also, I am willing to work really hard but I HATE when I can not do things well. I desire excellence; and right now I can not say that anything in my department is totally together. Even though it's not all my fault because I was not given what I need, I'm still here and it's me who's going to have to make it right.

On the other hand I've got some incredible, hard working, gifted, smart, likeable, and dedicated people working for me. I find my heart very attached to them; part of it is because we're going through so much together. We all love what we do and we're getting better every day. It's just that we were all thrown in here and told to do it from the ground up and we've been figuring out what it is and how to do it (such a ridiculous way for a large company to do things!) So I'm tired, and often feel like I could perform better if I could get some real rest.

I'm just sustaining in the rest of life so I know I've been a total wash out where a lot of things are concerned such as my husband, youngest son still at home, niece who came to live with us, Kingdom Bloggers, Women's ministry with our church, etc. I have been able to continue to have the very small group Bible study that meets at my home twice a month and it was like a steam of goodness washing over me this past week! The Word is good and I take time for God each morning....yet I feel guilty for struggling so.

I'm just kind of trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong here and I'm not where I'm supposed to be, or if this is just a difficult time. Or am I where I'm supposed to be but I'm stupid or something? Am I doing something all wrong and not seeing it and that's what the problem is? Am I perhaps defective? I'm so physically tired that it makes it difficult to know for sure. I feel like this job is my responsibility so, until I know differently, I must do it to the best that I possibly can. I just can't tell if God is just using this to grow me and make me better, or if I really missed it and shouldn't be here at all.

Have you ever gone through a time in your life where it seemed like nothing was working right no matter how hard you tried? What helped you during that time?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Inward Reservoirs

I'm overly sensitive.

Sometimes I get caught up in trying to defend myself when I perceive criticism. My frequent prayer is that God would free me from these patterns of mine.

This morning I was reading in Luke 16, and this part of the 15th verse caught my eye:

You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others
Yep - sounds just like me sometimes. Initially as I read this I felt conviction and prayed for forgiveness.

But then as I was praying and meditating on this I was reminded about how I have freedom in the Spirit through grace and justification by faith alone. My security and peace in the face of my own failures, or even the false criticisms of othes, is not in my ability to explain why I messed up or explain how I did not. My security and peace flows out of drawing on the inward reserviors of God's assurance.

I needed this today. I love my job but one of the things I find frusterating is that frequently I am in situations where no matter what I do, I'm going to hear about it from the Warden. Fortunately the Warden is someone who I respect, admire and like. He's someone who is very respectful in his demeanor; it's just that this is a difficult environment to navigate and is extremely political. I've been praying about this a lot lately, and here this morning the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart!

What greater joy can I have than knowing that I am loved by God and acceptable in His sight because of the grace that's mine through Jesus?! These truths really put it all in perspective for me.

What's happened to you lately that's put things into perspective for you?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The gift of an open heart

This morning I was gripped, as usual, by the drama in the story as I read from Acts 16:11-40. But what really hit was these words from the second half of the 14th verse:

"As she listed to us, the Lord opened her heart"

I was struck anew with how it is God who opens our hearts; for salvation, for His presence, for His power, for understanding and wisdom. I was struck anew with my intense need for Him.

I'm so prone to wander over to the natural, to live by what I see in front of me. Lately, with all the challenges of opening up a new facility (long hours, calls from work during the night that interrupt my sleep, training staff and not always being successful, learning how things work, etc.), I've been tired. I've struggled with discouragement.

These words bring me back to God. May He open my heart up to Him.

I don't understand it all or have it all together, but somehow, I do know that it is in Him, in His presence and by His power in me, that life begins to work. It is in Him that I find beauty and joy.

This morning, as I sat out on our deck in the quiet of morning solitude, with the beauty of a blue sky above me and pine trees around me, I could experience His peace and refreshing well up within me. I had that sense that everything will be all right. I experienced the pleasure of being able to absorb the beauty around me.

How's God opened your heart up lately?
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