Monthly Archives: November 2012

Prepare for GREATER

What would a Greater life for God look like to me? I had purchased the book Greater several months ago with good intentions to read it. When I came across the Online Bible Study, it was though I heard him say.. Sheri you are made for more than the life you are living. You are made for Greater. For years, I have yearned for something more from life in so many areas, but my constant procrastination and just living out the motions of life have kept me trapped.   I think about the life of Christ on earth and much of his Greatness was in relationships with people.  He sought His Father and spoke with Him consistently. I think of his relationship with the Disciples.  I consider the interactions with “strangers”, such as the woman at the well, the woman who touched the hem of his garment, etc.  I think of his unconditional love shown in words and actions.  For me, my Greater needs to start at home in my relationships with my Heavenly Father, my children, my husband, and myself.

Greater in the relationship with my Heavenly Father: Raised in a Christian home, I have gotten by on the Bible Stories of my childhood, the occasional devotion, and attending church. Although for about seven years, I didn’t even make it to church because of the work schedule I chose to meet the needs of our small children. I go through the motions of a Christian, but I want to live every moment of my life as one. I want to have a Greater relationship with Christ, through learning the plans He has for me, by spending time with Him and His word.  Too often I lean on my own understanding and only go to Him when I am in trouble.  As a Christian, I want to be Greater!

Greater in my relationship with my children: As a mother of a teenage daughter and a son with autism, I am so un-equipped.  To further stretch my already growing weakness as a mom, we took on cyber schooling at home to better meet the needs of each of them. So often I don’t know what to say or do, and  I want to be a Greater mom.   I want to live out Christ’s love for them in my words and actions.   I want to consistently be on my knees in prayer to help me raise them.  I want to know how to build them up and not tear them down.  I want to praise God for them everyday.  As we face challenges, as so often happens, I want my strength to come from Christ. As a mom, I want to be Greater!

Greater in my relationship with my husband: I have been married for twenty years to a wonderful man.  He works full time and also is a volunteer firefighter.  I want to be the wife who shows consistent respect inside/outside the home, through my words and actions.  I want to greater at meeting his needs / helping him meet his needs – physically, emotionally, spiritually.  The wife who honors him with a meals and a place he can find rest after a long day at work or after fighting a fire or saving a life. I want our marriage to be a solid example for our children.  As a wife, I want to be Greater!

Greater in taking care of myself:  As a woman, an individual, who is the wife, the mom, the friend, a full-time nurse/case manager, I want to be a Greater ME.  I am the last one I take time for routinely (and ironically the last person I even listed here).  I want to be the woman who honors her body as a temple, with my spiritual, physical, and mental health needs met (or at least consistently working on them).  I am infamous for procrastination in every area of my life, and I want to leave that at Christ’s feet as my past.  I want to be half the person that my friends believe I am, as I often wear the super-hero cape and the mask of perpetual happiness.  To the world, it appears I have it together, but Christ knows my heart, and my life, and knows this is where I could be so much Greater (and then all the other areas will fall into place).

I prepare to become a GREATER ME with STRONGER Relationships (without the cape and mask).

“Because greater is he that is in you/ME, than he that is in the world.” – I John 4:4

prepare to DIVE DEEPER

I am an incredible list maker.  In fact, my to-do lists often are categorized in an excel spread sheet.  I chose the word PREPARE in 2012 to make me move to action.  I have succeeded in some areas, while other areas still suffer.  Over the last month, I guess you could say my heart has been heavy with thought.  Well, then I developed this lovely rash over my body.  I have eliminated things from laundry, soaps, diet, etc… and the rash continues.  I saw my “girl” doctor yesterday because she knows me like no other doctor in this world and thought she could give me insight on the rash and some of the “locations”.  I mentioned at the last ladies Bible Study that I think it is a “sign”.  Some do not believe in “signs” and believe they are truly coincidences.  But, I know from past experience that sometimes God has to put up BIG BILLBOARDS to get my attention because I ignore the SLOW, YIELD, STOP signs.  I have a list including back injury, a miscarriage, two high risk pregnancies, my “rule out” stroke vs. MS, etc.  They all happened when I was doing too much and taking my eyes off of the road I was suppose to be on.  So while some things are coincidences, there are other times, I think they are messages from God and should not be so lightly dismissed.  I recently read a book by Glen Beck and Keith Ablow about Seven Wonders that Will Change Your Life.  In there was a whole topic of  “coincidences” and it further confirmed what I already believed.  Sure anything that happens could be justified into a “sign”.  I have heard married people justify adultery, have heard Christians justify stealing, etc… But, I believe that when I am right with God, I will know the message of what comes into my life.  However, I am far from always being right with God, and that for me is usually when big things happen.  This rash could be something big or something small, but I do know as a result He has gotten my attention.

Anyway, I know there are many areas in my life that I am “not where I need to be”.  Mary and I had several intense conversations in the car yesterday.  My momma said there would be days like that!  But, she said something that made me also confirm my thoughts (of not where I need to be).  She basically just said she was NOT like me in how I can always make everything seem so right.  That even if I am sad or angry I always have it together.  She further said I never fall apart even on the inside and even if I do, no one knows it. There are a few ways to look at that – thankful that I can hide behind the mask (which is a topic of another book I have been reading) or sad that no one knows the real me – especially my daughter.  I am also thinking I don’t even know who I am anymore!.  Sure I am a nurse, a mom, a wife, a Christian, but who is Sheri?  And is there something more in life that I should be doing?

Well, I can tell you that after starting the Bible Study at church, I realize there is so much more I am missing.  I have relied on the knowledge of my past, the stories of my Sunday School lessons, the few scriptures I have stored in my mind to get me by in life.  Then I stopped going to church for years while I worked.  Sure I would listen to Christian music in the car, catch an occasional TV broadcast.  But, it was always surface stuff.  Things did not sink into my heart.  I have said over and over again that this year has been life changing for me.  I believe I am a different person on the inside, but my daughter’s word made me think, but am I different on the outside. I am not just talking the physical (because well, I am still not skinny, but still wonderfully made), but what pours out of me.  The answer is apparently NO. 

So my answer is I need to know more so I can be more so I can do more and can show more of me.  I need to discover Sheri – the person outside the job and the home.  I need to learn who I am as a child of God and what His plans are for me because so far, I am pretty stuck on my “vision”.  What that has gotten me is going through the motions of life.  So I started a Bible Study last night – two to be exact – both areas that I need to work on in my life.  The first is regarding a Study on ADVENT.  As I blogged yesterday, my heart is not where it needs to be.  I want to know more and feel more about Christmas. The second one is an online Bible Study called GREATER based on the book by Steven Furtick. I have never done an online Bible Study before, but I can’t say it doesn’t fit into my time.  I am also doing the ladies’ study at our church on UNGLUED.   So, if you put the three studies together it could be A Greater Unglued Advent (LOL).  But, honestly, they are all for ME to become so much more than a woman going through the motions.  One thing loud and clear over the past week, and especially last night and today, I AM MADE FOR MORE THAN THE LIFE I AM LEADING!  He wants great things of me and for me – I PREPARE to DIVE DEEPER to discover who I am and all the riches He has for me.

one of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein (who is believed to have Asperger’s) is so true for my life by me going through the same motions everyday and expecting more… “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

prepare for MORE THAN MOTIONS

Holidays are generally hard for me.  Maybe it is because I miss loved ones.  Maybe it is because of the pressure.  Maybe it is the craziness of the people and the schedules. Maybe it is because it means another year has passed and where I thought I would be in life is not where I am at.   I believe it is definitely a combination of all those things wrapped into one!   While others thrive for the holidays, the perfect gift, the trees, the lights, the running around, the cookies, etc… I can’t say I really am a Scrooge, but will admit it all overwhelms me, more than I care to admit.  Every year I vow it will be different, and every year it is not…

So today (started Blog on 11/24), I put on my facebook at quote from Sevenly – one of my favorite organizations that donates every week to a new charity.  The Quote said “He who has not Christmas in their heart will not find it under the tree – Roy Smith” !  All I can say, is I have some work to do to get Christmas back in my heart.

I think of the song by Matthew West about THE MOTIONS.  That is pretty much what I do with the holidays.  I must tell you, I love Easter.  I love the meaning, the calmness, it beginning the start of spring.  For Christmas it is the hussle, the shopping (when we seem to already have everything), the beginning of winter.  Yes there is meaning to Christmas, but that’s what I have lost – what I have allowed my children to loose – what the world has allowed to be lost.  I watch shows with beautiful homes and pray that I can just make a space for a tree and find a day to put it up.  I listen as people make all these cookies and pray that I can make enough for the cookie exchange (not to mention I will just eat the cookies and gain weight).  It also means I will need to open my home to welcome in family and it will never measure up.  I hear the Christmas music and pray that the real meaning of Christmas will be laid on my heart.

I know all about Christmas and the real reason.  And honestly, some of the “best” Christmas have been when my heart was the heaviest.  The year of our miscarriage and I vowed NO tree.  But the night of the Christmas program, our friends brought the church’s tree and Steven Lint played the violin and we sang carols.  The year my mom passed away and dad and I did Christmas Ever Church Hopping – we went from one service to the next until the last one at midnight. I remember the years of working in the hospital in the Cancer Unit with patients.  For many, it was their last Christmas and I was blessed to be a part of it.  I have many ornaments from those amazing patient’s and it has been years since I put them on the tree.  Mostly because I generally rush to get up the tree and get it down – a year or so ago I just went and bought an artificial tree and the bulbs and we put it up quickly.

So what’s different… Christmas has NOT changed!  It is still the Birthday of Jesus Christ.  What has changed is my heart!  I need to rediscover that wonder of that night.  I need to dig deeper into the Bible Stories of my childhood and rediscover the miracles of that night.  In fact, the stories should be deeper and richer to me now… I mean as a mom, I can never imagine being Mary in a stable in a far away country giving birth – let alone giving birth to Jesus Christ.  I need to rediscover the memories of childhood through the eyes of my children.  My mom and I baked cookies together.  I remember the tree just by closing my eyes – the silver tinsel, the blue balls wrapped with yarn, the angel on the top of the tee, and the presents labeled Santa under the tree in the recycled wrapping paper from the year before. 

Well, Christmas is really just around the corner and I really have two choices… stay miserable/wanting more OR change/be changed.  Really there is only one obvious choice!  I signed up for an online Bible Study regarding Advent – a chance to go deeper into His word to rediscover Christmas. I will be sitting and planning out the next month for small goals so I am not overwhelmed at my typical last minute, procrastination moments!  I prepare for MORE THAN MOTIONS.  I want Christmas to be sunk deeply in my heart!

 So appropriate for me and the holidays – but truly every day life – so many times just going through The Motions.

The Motions – by Matthew West – lyrics
I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking,
“What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?”

No regrets, not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

prepare MY HEART

What the heck… I am sitting still for a cup of tea (rare morning start lately) and thought I would watch some TV (rare in our house with Sam) and read some of my blogs I follow.  I have cried over just about everything…

I cry thinking of a boy and his family as he is in PICU having seizures and just needs the angels to encamp around him and Christ to just touch Him.  I cry because it is one of those situations that I just don’t understand.  How and why children have to suffer.  I will be honest I just don’t understand.  But, one thing I know I have to learn is that though I don’t understand.  I must appreciate and savor the moments with my children and never take them for granted – which I often do.  Sure, Sam has Aspergers and with it comes some difficulties and heart break, but it does not threaten his life and in many ways, it enriches ours.  Sure Mary has some emotional times as a teen and we actively rebuild years of cruel words, but it does not threaten her life and in many ways it helps us grow stronger together.  On this Thanksgiving Eve, I pray for that young man and his family (and all the other similar stories). I pray that I remember to savor every moment with our children…

I cry over the TV shows as they have give-aways to families who so deserve it.  Homes that were destroyed in Hurricanes, cars that do not allow them to get to/from work, unemployment, etc.  Again, situations I do not understand, because I am blessed.  Blessed beyond measure – I not only have one job, but two.  I not only have one car but two… We have a home that isn’t perfect, but we are safe and warm.  God gave me this moment this morning to watch these stories to remember and appreciate what I have.  On this Thanksgiving Eve, I pray that I remember and appreciate what I have daily.  That instead of whining for more in life, that I remember to be happy and blessed EVERY DAY with what already exists.

I cry over the blessings that people are posting on facebook.  What a change from the normal posts of complaining about life or about people.  It is really hard for me to see Christians who post negative thoughts or complaints often, without posting how Christ works through them.. or a negative without saying that God will give them strength.. or a follow-up on how they are doing better.  I am probably guilty at times of a little whining… I do believe in asking for prayer and challenge those that see a prayer request that they actually pause and pray.   I know that I have been posting all blessings and positives this month – it has been good for my soul.  I pray that the month of gratitude extends into LIFE of GRATITUDE in my life and on facebook..

I cry over commercials or facebook posts of pictures of the military serving their country and not being home with their families – all to protect us!! And then get really angry when I see people make mean comments that do not support the military.  You don’t have to agree with wars, but as a nation, we must respect and pray for those who will risk their lives to save ours!  My nephew and his family with two small children, who have not seen their father for months, will not be blessed with sharing the Thanksgiving table together.  I pray that I become more grateful for the soldiers on a daily basis. 

I cry over blogs I read that touch exactly the spot I need to be touched.  It awakens a part of me that needs to be touched.  As I talked about in my blog yesterday, there are so many areas of my life I want to be better. And everyday I say that or think of them, but I don’t every day do something about them.  I guess I assume there will be tomorrow.  However, as a nurse, I should know better, there is only this moment.  I have always worked most holidays, especially when a floor nurse.  To go into work to care for the sick and dieing on a holiday truly puts everything into perspective.  It was a blessing to serve them with my whole heart.  Now, I have a family and I still work most holidays.  At times it is hard for my children (especially Mary) to understand, but it is part of me.  On those days, people in those beds do not want to be there and if by my small part in working on that day, it reminds me of my blessings and provides service to them.  I pray that I learn to better savor the moments and make the most of every moment.

Prepare my heart, oh Lord, to be grateful and remember and to serve, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but for every moment that you give to me.

prepare to BUILD FOUNDATIONS

I have quickly determined when I TRULY LISTEN to Christ and go in the direction HE leads me it opens multiple blessings.  G.P.S – God’s Pathway for Success (=   I have talked about how it has been on my heart to have a Women’s Bible Study and I hesitated for a variety of reasons.  But when God tells me to do something, I should be packing and getting ready to go on the adventure instead of making excuses.  Well, I so now realize that Christ knew I needed to be deeper in His word… knew I needed to surround myself with other women wanting to learn… knew I needed therapy (=  

I have been so blessed to be raised in a Christian home and have a marriage based around Christ.  Very strong foundations I would say.  But once I had the strong foundation, I have seemed to just leave the foundation blocks (the basement).  There are people who start out building homes and build a great foundation of blocks for their dream home.  But then things happen, money runs out, and they end up living in the foundation / the basement for many years and at times forever.  That is exactly what has happened to me, I believe.  I have a great foundation in the church, in Christ’s word, in my belief. BUT, I stopped building on the foundation.  For years I didn’t go to church, because I worked. I have to honestly admit I have not routinely studied His word.  We talked last night and one of the wonderful women described how she has daily Bible and prayer time – to me that is building on the foundation.  I have been recently blessed by a wonderful letter from another amazing Christian woman and she talked about a Bible Study she recently did on her own – to me that is building on the foundation.  Well, I long to be able to say that… I want to build on my foundation.  I have read more books this year than I have in years… they have all been by Christian authors.  They have been life altering for me.  I think I am definitely a different person than I was at the beginning of the year, but I have a LONG way to go.  The books I believe were like food for my hungry soul – and just like food, once I get a taste of something great, I want more of it!  I go back for seconds and third helpings. 

As a confession, I don’t make building on my foundation a habit – sure I try to go to church every Sunday, but that is just 52 days a year if I go every week – that would be like only placing 52 nails in the building on the foundation.  God wants me every day – He supplies me with unlimited resources.. His word, books by Christian authors, television evangelists, self Bible Studies.  He also supplies me with 24 hours every day that I am alive to take time out for Him.  I am infamous for having some majorly messed up priorities, I am afraid…  For instance I waste time worrying – when He says not too — time spent in worry that I could spend in prayer.  I waste time in planning my own agenda—when He says He knows the plans He has for me – time spent in my own agenda that I could spend knowing His plan.

But meeting as a group and learning forces me to build on my foundation. I leave feeling fed. And as the weeks pass after the lesson, I still think on the things that I have heard from the video series or from the wise women who attend.  I am hearing Bible stories that I have known all my life be revealed in a different light. Last week we talked about Joshua and the wall of Jericho, and I had never heard it that way before.  Joshua was a child of God like me.  He went boldly to God and asked him “Whose side are you on”.  I have felt like that with God and have seen others struggle equally.  When bad things happen or when things don’t do as I planned, I think that He is not on my side.  In our study a new perspective came out – HE is not here to pick sides (it is not me against the world or the situation)!  He is here to take over the battle (no matter what the battle is in my life).  The battle is never too small or too large for Him!  I just have to trust Him, and let Him take over the battle!

Life is all about foundations.  I have foundations in some incredible friendships, but if I do nothing to build upon those foundation they will never grow.  I have a strong foundation in my marriage, but if I do nothing to nurture it and show my love and respect it will not continue to grow.  I have a strong foundation as a Christian, but if I do not daily / continually read and study His word, I will never grow beyond the basement foundation… and really is that enough?? Is that enough for my soul?? And isn’t He worth more than that?  I have a quote from Oprah that often goes through my mind when I know my priorities get out of order – I generally repeat it to myself when I know I have worked too much. “How you spend your time defines who you are.”  -Oprah Winfrey

It honestly is a humbling thought in many ways for my life.  The pause I need to make to re-examine how I spend my time.  At work, on a quarterly basis we have to keep track every 10 minutes of our activity – patients, paperwork, breaks, etc… If I did the same thing with my life for one week, I believe it would show me wasted time and my “priorities”.  I am sure I could also rationalize out how everything I did, because that is just me – full of excuses.  How I spend my time shows where I build on my foundations.  I know I need to prepare to work on some foundations… God has some beautiful plans for me in every area of my life, if I just take the time to “spend my time” learning and growing.

Matthew 7:24-27 “24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

prepare to know HE understands

For many people, weekends are the time they renew for the week ahead.  My weekends are full of chaos, little sleep, and doing whatever it takes to get to church as a family.  I generally work Friday night, Saturday 7p-5:30am drive home by 6:30 am get a nap until 9:00 am and get ready for church.  There generally is a discussion on how we need to get out of the house faster to get to church sooner, but I am running on empty.  However, I walk through the church doors and breathe a sigh… knowing that despite no sleep, this is exactly where I am suppose to be.   It is especially amazing to go as a family, just as I did growing up.  We all feel at home there.  Our friends have blended into our family.  We head home and try to do something as a family and I return to work at 7pm-5:30am – then cyber school starts, piano/voice, and now Bible Study every other week.  Yep that’s my renewing…

This past weekend, I threw in a few more activities – just to liven up life a little (=

On Friday, I got to start my morning with fighting with the insurance company AGAIN over benefits not paid for Sam.  I was exhausted from the previous week and basically just ended up crying to the insurance customer service.  I had done everything right and got things authorized before going.  I had fought for our son… and thankful that I was finally heard…let’s say the check should be here this week and if not I see a trip to Wheeling in my future next week…

On Saturday, Samuel had a speech evaluation.  We had to reschedule it from the snow storm )=  Which also meant that we missed the Church’s Thanksgiving Dinner.  As I mentioned in my thankfulness list today, we are so blessed with a church family.  It’s like home – you walk through the doors and know you are meant to be there.  I could go on and on about the blessing of our church.  Maybe that is why it was hard to miss the meal – and to miss it to watch our son struggle. We were anticipating a 2 hour evaluation… well, we did 2 ½ hours and had to quit with probably another 2 hours to go.  When people create tests, they think about the average person and their testing skills – not the extra-ordinary child.  I wanted to give him the answers because I knew he knew them… I wanted to just wrap my arms around him as I watched him slowly melt in exhaustion and frustration… I wanted to just kiss his hands so he wouldn’t dig sore spots into his scalp from being overwhelmed.  The therapist was awesome and patient and kind and understanding – the testing process was NOT!  The other wonderful thing about all the tests and I.E.P., etc… is to point out all the weaknesses – not to emphasize the strengths.  I knew he had to do the test even though I wanted to just say “we quit”.  It has always just been Sam and I on all the testing adventures because they happen during the day when daddy works.  I have learned that I need the prayers for strength and Sam needs the prayers for peace and strength.  And people ask how did it go… and I try to explain, but words are not enough… I should have called off of work, and am learning that I need to plan “down time” for us both… We had planned for a small stop after the evaluation for a reward, but it took longer than I thought so we had to switch gears – which was just another mess for Sam because plans changed.. and I had to kick into work mode.  Then I got my little nap…

On Sunday, we made it to church, which I so needed because I am surrounded by people with a same purpose in life – to celebrate Christ, to renew on Sunday mornings, to pause life.  Generally I am not really needed for anything, and in fact, many awesome friends ask how I am doing.  Though church is only a small spot in my week, it is exactly what I need… Then got home from church to get ready for the  Christmas dinner homemade mac-n-cheese  and all the other stuff.  I couldn’t have done the dinner without Bev and Mary as they did most of the work.  Then add in needing to make a soup for Jim’s job on Monday. Dinner then to work at the hospital.  Another night, I should have just called off.  I was exhausted, but call-offs are so against my work ethic.  I get to work and put it in full gear.  And as I type reviews I just want to cry  — How can I whine about my life, my blessings, our son, our daughter, etc… when these people have real issues… these children need a parent like me… when these loved ones lives are changed for ever… when unidentified people come in from traumas…  Who am I to whine???  After a long night of work, I am blessed to have a little down-time in the car.  To re-group before coming home…

I thought about Christ and how He must feel like I did watching Sam and not being able to do anything. Watching my son suffer hurts so much, but I know that the evaluation is needed for long-term good.  Christ has to watch us go through trials and fires and pain and knowing it is for long-term good.  It will refine us and make us stronger.  I want to reach out to Sam and just do it for him, but that does not help him grow and won’t give us the info we need.  I am sure Christ feels the same, He wants to make life easy but it won’t help us grow.  With Sam, I told him I wouldn’t leave him through the testing.. and Christ promises that to me too.  I may just feel alone and nervous and afraid and frustrated, but just like with Sam – He is there, but just has to let me go through it.  May I be prepared to know HE understands.

James 1:2-4 “when Troubles come your way, Consider it an Opportunity for Great Joy. For you know that when your FAITH IS TESTED, your Endurance has a Chance to GROW. So let it GROW, for when your Endurance is Fully Developed, you will be Perfect and Complete, needing Nothing.”

Hebrews 13:5 . . . God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

p.s. I did not write this for comments on my strength.. because it is NOT my strength that gets me through these crazy weekends, the melting moments with our children, through the horrible stories I see at work… it truly is my Grandma’s verse that says it all PHILLIPIANS 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”  – He is my “super hero cape” I have to grab when I get out of bed.

prepare to DISCOVER

Wow what a crazy busy week.  I worked 3 extra days to cover for someone whose mother passed away,  resumed all the normal weekday appointments for Mary and Samuel (piano/voice, Occupational therapy, MD appointments), started a Woman’s Bible Study, attended an extra lecture at work, voted in the election, worked my normal WVUH shifts work, cyber school, a fieldtrip, and the week is NOT over yet.  Tomorrow we meet a new speech therapist and have an extensive evaluation and I work.  It makes me tired when I think about it.  Then to consider some of the in depth conversation Mary and I have had in the car in our travels – emotional drain and mental drain as they make me think differently.  And I hate to mention it, but the election is very draining as well – no matter which side you are on. 

The ultimate drain was this morning.. when I believe the cumulative effect of being drained took place… I had to call our old insurance company over a bill from almost a year ago on November 22nd when Samuel underwent his Autism Diagnosis process and November 29th when I met with the incredible team to hear what we already knew, but didn’t really want to hear.  Long story short, I learned of the bill not being paid in August of this year and have been battling ever since. I did our part to get prior authorization; they did not do their part in paying the bill.  Anyway, the customer service representative definitely took compassion when I am sure she could hear my tears. It was all about the principal that they were wrong.    I didn’t loose control and scream, but I definitely my emotions took control. Definitely, an Unglued moment for me.

One thing that has ran through my mind all week has truly been our discussion at Bible Study.  I have wanted a Woman’s Bible Study for a long time, truly selfish reasons to * surround myself with women who will lift me up, and not tear me down; * learn more about Christ’s word in relation to MY everyday life;  *be fed, because the world cannot fill that void.  Also, for non-selfish reasons I have read some incredible books this year and they touched me – I mean really touched me and that I want to * share what I read and lift other women up * surround myself with women that I CAN support and pray for, and  *learn from their experiences.   There is alot of experience out there and as a church / nation / society / community, I believe that I have become so bogged down in just getting it done / getting by every day that I do not tap into the wisdom of others.   Well, it exceeded my expectations and we have only met once.   Even as I lead the Bible Study, hearing other women’s thoughts, just built upon mine. 

The other experience I had this week on Tuesday was a lecture at work.  It was “strongly encouraged” that we attend, and now I know why.  First of all, the speaker Rich Biulini had my undivided attention when he mentioned his son had Asperger’s.  As he continued to speak about being drained, I knew I was meant to be there.  He talked about renewing ourselves, lifting others up, reminding ourselves of why we are where we are, telling others thank you, pray, etc… God knew I was drained and just adding to my cup.

DISCOVERY – there are so many things in this world that I have NO control over.  But, I can choose my reaction to the situation.  I can either * hate my enemy or love / pray for them; *become UNGLUED or figure out how to hold it together * be part of the problem or part of the solution * can lead or wait for someone else to. * smile or cry.  * tear down or lift up * lean on myself or accept the help of others * be stubborn or open minded * be helpful or hurtful * be loud or silent * be me or pretend to be someone I am not * be honest or disloyal * trust in God or in this world * waste my time or spend it wisely * believe in miracles or in fate / coincidence only *

But the biggest lesson I have learned this week, if I am empty or drained, that the answer will not be found in food (maybe some sleep – LOL),  * on television * on facebook * with work. 

I need to be more prepared to DISCOVER.  This week I discovered

  • I must fill my mind / time / heart / soul with up-lifiting thoughts (the Bible, Christian Blogs – -I found Google Reader where I can put all my links to my favorite Christian Blogs that feed my soul) – if  I go to the wrong place / thing / food when I am hungry / drained / empty, I will never be “filled” (and avoid my crazy email and facebook).  \
  • If God leads me to do something, I must trust He knows what He is doing.  
  • If I am drained / empty / confused / lonely – God can send people and words into my life to fill me.
  • Every month needs to be November (except for elections – lol) because it is finally when there are mostly positive posts on facebook (=.   
  • Surrounding yourself with other women who are all there for the same purpose will lift you up – just by being in their presence and knowing you are not alone in feeling drained, alone, and empty. 
  • Many other women out there needing to be fed, uplifted if the opportunity is there for them. 
  • I need to look at life from my children’s eyes more than I do (thanks to the conversations this week that happened when I was already drained), and
  • A lesson from my Grandma Frazee (whose 99th birthday would have been Nov 2nd)  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (but, I have to ask him for strength and accept His offering of strength – otherwise, I would not have survived this crazy week).