Saturday, February 19, 2011

When Fun Is Work

It's funny.  I always thought that by the time I reached the age and stage of life I now am that I would have things figured out.  Or that I would at least have myself figured out.  Not so!  I'm still learning so much about God, about the world around me, and even about how I am wired.

Last night I finally realized something.  Sometimes what seems like fun for Paul seems like work for me.  No wonder we don't understand each other sometimes!  Yesterday Paul casually mentioned the possibility of eating out with a family he's trying to get more connected to Jesus and to The City Church.  To him, this sounded like something easy and fun.  But to me it is work.  

Having dinner with some established friends would be fun, and I would be up for that on the spur of the moment almost any time.  But meeting with people I don't know, particularly people with whom I seem to have little in common (at least on the surface) is hard for me.  I want them to have a good impression of me, of our church, of Jesus, so I spend way more time than I should worrying about what to say, how to say it, whether they like me, etc.  

That's not really a good quality.  But it is where I'm at right now.  Now that I've identified this, maybe I can seek God's healing for my insecurity in this area.  But I think that I am always going to have to work harder at initiating conversations and meeting new people than Paul does.  Barring a supernatural change from God, I'm never going to get to know people as easily as Paul does.  It's always going to be at least a little more work for me. 

I don't know that either of us has made that connection before.  I think it's the opposite of shopping.  Shopping is fun for me but is work for Paul, even when he's shopping for himself with a gift card from someone else.  (That is so much fun for me!)  And just like he doesn't always want to go on a spur-of-the moment shopping trip after a long week of work, I don't look forward to the surprise of more work at the end of my week.  That doesn't mean I shouldn't do it.  Some of the best things in life are hard work!  And Paul has been very gracious about going shopping with me even when he's tired.   

I pray that God would make getting to know people more fun than work for me, and that He would help Paul understand that any initial hesitation on my part isn't just stubbornness or uncaring, but is often just tiredness!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Write Like an Egyptian

One of the things I really like about homeschooling is how my children are freed up to use their creativity.  (Another thing I really like is getting to sleep later!)  Faith has been writing a story to send in for an American Girl Magazine story contest.  She finished it today, and I was impressed with her writing.  

As we were talking about the story contest, Hope said she would not want to enter a story because, as she said, "I only write books...and hieroglyphics."   Love that girl!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things That Go Bump (or Deafening Siren or Clank) in the Night

Last week the night the cold front came through my bladder woke me up.  (Not unusual!) After returning to bed, I noticed how windy it had become.  Soon after that our home alarm system went off!  I immediately knew that the wind had blown open the back door.  It's happened before (in the daytime!), and I told Paul to check for that first.  Sure enough, the still-locked back door was open.  Paul closed the door, turned off the alarm, checked just to make sure it was only the wind, and went back to sleep.  I, however, spent a few sleepless hours worrying about burglars.  Because I have a totally-unfounded but lifelong fear of burglars breaking in my home when I'm sleeping.   Don't know where it came from, but it's REAL!

So, even though my mind knew the wind had blown the door open, even though I have seen the wind open the door several times before (in the daytime!), and even though I looked around our house just to check, my fear was screaming, "Burglar!" at me.  My mind said that I would surely hear someone walking on our laminate floors (I can even hear the cat walking if the heat isn't on!); my fear said, "What if they're really quiet?"  My mind said that an intruder would leave when they heard the alarm shrieking; my fear said, "What if they didn't?"  My husband reassured me that no one was in our home; my fear said, "What if they were hiding?"  The dog reinforced my fear by being more restless in her kennel than she's ever been.  My mind told me she was restless because of the wind, but, of course, my fear said - you guessed it- "Burglar!"

By the light of day the next day, my fears seemed silly and overblown, but they had been very real to me in the dark.

A few nights ago, as I began to drift off to sleep, I heard a clanking noise.  I had never heard it before, and I thought it sounded like someone dropping a heavy metal something on the concrete.  Probably a neighbor.  After an interval I heard it again.  And again.  So, my fear again began shouting, "Burglar!" at me.  I could just picture someone with some sort of crowbar or crowbar-like device ready to bash in my window.  My mind said it was not a burglar, but my fear wasn't buying it!  I finally woke Paul up.  He assured me there was no burglar outside with a crowbar, but, since he hadn't actually heard the noise, my fear was not quieted.  Finally, he heard it and realized it was some noise the heating system was making.  (One neither of us had ever heard before.)  Then I realized that the noise always happened after the heat came on.  And I was able to sleep without fear.

The next morning I felt pretty silly.  My fears seemed so far-fetched in the brightness of the daytime.

As I pondered these silly fears, I realized that so often I voluntarily remain in the dark and allow all sorts of fears to assault me.  Not so much fears about burglars, but fears about things like rejection, being a bad mom, messing up, our church, and on and on it goes.  God's Word is a light to my feet and a lamp for my path, but when I spend little time reading, meditating on, and memorizing it, I am in the dark and more vulnerable to fear.  Jesus is the Light of the World, but when I am not spending time connecting with Him, I am living in the dark.  I want to stay in Jesus and in God's Word, because I know when I do, I will see things much more clearly and be able to refute the baseless fears and worries that sometimes come.  And even those fears and worries that aren't baseless will be no match for my Jesus!

The LORD is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?  ~Psalm 27:1


Monday, February 7, 2011

Things That Go Bump (or Siren Sound or Clang) in the Night

Last week I my bladder woke me up in the wee hours of the morning when the cold front came through.