Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I do wish for a friendship as Lisa described with Colleen. I had that once. I miss her. I can not not claim a close female friend at the moment-it made me pray for such a friendship to come back to life and for God to send someone like Colleen to me. I could sure use her in my life again.
I think what stuck out the most to me in reading these two chapters was related to Chapter 6 Cosmetics for the Soul and the subject of satisfaction. It has been a topic so very near and dear to me as I have journeyed through this spiritual transformation. You know what I'm talking about, don't you...the changing of your wants, your desires, and what you truly find satisfaction in. When I read verses like Psalms 17:15 it's like eating a dove chocolate...soothing!
Am I satisfied with my life? Parts of it. All I want though is more of Him, more of God, more time in ministry. I am thirsty for the spiritual and that is such a good thing. What do I conceal? My insecurities of who I can be in Christ, my fear of rejection...it still is so fresh. But as Lisa wrote in at the end of Chapter 7 The Feelings We Conceal:
He is all I need. He satisfies me above all else.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
through every person.
Unfortunately, it can be dammed in
times of illness, dying, and/or
bereavement, with pain, fear and loneliness.
caring presence can prevent the dam
from forming and keep the river flowing.
No challenges expected with the title of Lisa Whittles' chapter here-Ms. Spirituality-right? Wrong. I saw it coming...like a deer in headlights. What a sweet reminder to examine our heart in this concept of our "spirituality". I lost a distant colleague and friend-Steven Jeffers a few months ago in a car accident. I immediately thought of his work on this concept of spirituality in health care and the value he played in educating and fueling my passion for this subject.
I love this subject. As a nursing professor, I teach this. As a nurse and women of God, I live it. But do I live it in the right mind set-God's mind set?
I could rattle off a variety of definitions within the concepts of spirituality. In our faith community nurse course we offer for the experience nurse, I teach the concepts of spirituality and religion and what it is to be a nurse in a faith based community such as our churches. This class is made up of a diverse population of nurses from different faith backgrounds. I have been careful to not "offend"-to teach with an openness and acceptance of all the faith belief systems. I have used the same cautious approach in the classroom of our beginning nursing students as I have had professed atheist sitting in the those chairs. However, I have been convicted in this after reading this chapter.
Ouch. There's that word again...convicted. Are we really called to walk carefully in this matter? Are we really suppose to use caution as we identified the truth of our spirituality? NO! NO! NO!
I cherish the insight everyone has within this blog Bible study which you can get to from our host blog site Lelia!! Thanks for taking the time to stop by here today. I will pray for each of you. I will stop by your postings this weekend. Blessings!
Now on a discerning note...I feel like I am so overwhelmed lately. To the point that my mind is tired. Did you see all the typo's in my last post? It shows in my speech, my thought process and now my dress...look closely at this picture...
I took my 12 year old shopping for some much needed winter clothes after our parent-teacher conference yesterday. We were at our last store and I happened to look down at my shoes. Do you see it? Oh my gosh...I wore two different shoes!! To the parent-teacher conference-to the mall and several other stores!!! After the initial shock I told my daughter I meant to do this. She is already embarrassed by her parents, I have now topped it for her. Augghhhhh!! My husband is thinking it's time to reserve a room at the extended care facility down the road. Seriously. I think I need prayer.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I found this chapter a whole lot easier to stomach. I'm afraid I am not one to hide my emotions. If I am not happy...it shows (not always a good thing) and the opposite is true that when I am happy, you can tell. As I approached this chapter, before even reading the first words written by Lisa, I mentally asked myself "what makes me happy?" I immediately thought of my red paisley devotional chair. I have such contentment, security and joy when I am in it. Why? Because I have learned that my joy comes from God. Even in the worst of situations, I have internally experienced great peace and joy amidst the chaos. I love that I have reached this point-to recognize God in all things but do I live it externally, 24/7...not all the time. So hence this weeks conviction-to live in the joy I have had planted internally and show it more fully externally-24/7.
When we are not happy we must look at the internal and external causes. In this situation, if I am honest, I realize my focus was on me and not not where it should have been. I am sorry to say we do not regret walking away from those marriages. We do regret the way in which we came together. God knows what was endured in both situations and in His graces He has blessed Joe and I despite it all. Even in our new found happiness in each other and in our now spiritually strong marriage, we have learned that even we cannot make each other completely and fully happy. We have learned that our true joy comes from God and I guess that is why we are so committed to be on our knees together almost daily. Statistics show that re-marriages have a greater chance of not making it more so than first marriages do. Joe and I have learned dearly how to love, really love, and how to be committed. We have been given a second chance at it and we cherish this relationship.
Again, I reflect back to my red paisley devotional chair. Happiness. I am with God. A place where my heart and mind is learning to "prefer to go strait to the Expert when it comes to the subject of true happiness" (pp.71). We are most happy, most joyful when we are living in God's will, connected and spiritually full of His goodness. And it is reflected to others around us. I wish it was easier to live this 24/7.
Somehow the things that bring "unhappiness" into our life seems to grab us and shakes us up. What a great reminder of my own life when I read Ecclesiastes chapter two. If you haven't read this, go there now and reflect on Solomon's wisdom. Nothing...nothing we do on this earth will satisfy our hearts, our life, our minds, our need to be loved. Nothing can fulfill any of those areas as the Lord can. I personally have found scripture to be the most powerful tool to fight off the grip of false happiness or discontentment. Currently, I cling to the verse I received at the She Speaks conference from Deut. 33:12 "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders."
So accept it. Live in it and be blessed. Don't let satan steal your joy!! Change your focus, change what you search for to bring you happiness. And remember our challenge verse:
What stands in the way of me living fully in the joy I experience every time I sit quietly in that red paisley chair? Me. I need less of me and more of Christ. How about you?
Sunday, October 5, 2008
May I boldly suggest we pray for each other? It seems we are all experiencing chaos as we venture through this study. Satan knows the outcome of our hearts and mind are not in his favor!! I try hard to get to everyone's posting but time does not always allow it. So I will commit to bless each Bible study member in prayer each week. I cherish your prayers too.