Thursday, June 22, 2017

In the Vortex (5/8/17)

Perhaps I am in the vortex of a giant spiritual battle.

The pain, stress, and frustration I feel is overwhelming.
I eat, I pray, I drink, I sleep, I take Prozac, I read, I listen to music, I walk, I pour my heart out to friends, yet the pain inside resides.

In church yesterday, I felt like a walking zombie. I didn't even want to go because I knew people would say, "Hey, how are you?" and I would have to answer. Answer with a lie or answer with a truth or answer with a non-descript "I'm here."
I felt like I was living a lie by walking/sitting with my husband when I am currently bitter toward him.
I had sent him an email while he was in Africa detailing my concerns about the need to retire--to which he responded that we would talk about it when he returned. I waited nearly a week after he got home from Africa (I was being sensitive to his jetlag) to remind him I wanted to talk.   He made it clear that this conversation will be a pain in his side, that it was ANOTHER broken thing in his life that was falling apart and he had to fix. And so we haven't spoken of it since. I told him I had to make my employment decision by May 11 when I my contract was due. I rode in the car with him all the way to Ridgeway (45 min) and back Saturday and to church and back yesterday with absolutely no words between us. Cold as ICE. I reminded him that we still needed to talk. I'm getting the silent treatment from him. And my bitterness grows.

I feel like he thinks his needs and problems are move valid than my own. I feel that I am being taken advantage of. I feel I am not being effective at work, and it is causing me stress and pain, and yet, it is OK for him to quit his job under such circumstances, but it is not OK for me to do so.  I'm bitter that he quit his job and changed the trajectory of our lives without consulting me first. Yes, I know it was 25 years ago, but I gave up 25 years of a good deal of comfort and convenience so he could pursue his dreams of farming full time.  Now I feel I am faced with stress and am ready to sacrifice some comfort and convenience to not have to go back and spin my wheels and be abused at work. It is my turn. Dammit.

In my head, I know it isn't that simple. I know there are circumstances, responsibilities, and obligations to consider.

I went to church yesterday with a broken heart.
In Sunday school, Ed Stewart taught us about the garden scene where Jesus went to pray before facing his crucifixion, Matthew 26.
38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Yes, Jesus even prayed when he was sorrowful to the point of death. He instructed his friends to join him in praying.  And then he reminded them that watching and praying will help keep him from falling into temptation because the spirit is willing, but the FLESH IS WEAK.  Pray. Ask God to help you through this trial.

In the worship center, Pam Pate sang the solo leading us in Lord, your Grace is So Amazing, Wonderful . . .
And I truly want to cast my burdens on God so He can pour out his grace toward me. I sing it. I hope for it to be true. I try. But I'm still in pain.

Then after church we went to the Senior Recognition Banquet at church.  Pastor Frank Shimkus told the kids that he truly believed that the upcoming year was going to be under serious attack from Satan. In Luke 22
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
And I thought, what if all this stuff I'm going through is a Spiritual Battle and I am being tested. If yes, then I am failing. 

I know I can depend on God.  But I don't know why I can't trust him right now. I feel like I have to face my personal demons and triumph over my fear of confronting Jim instead of simply "trusting" God to take care of all my problems.


I hate the thought of posting this blog, knowing that as my personal journal, it is fine and dandy, but hitting Publish makes my vulnerable thoughts visible to anyone who wishes to see them.  But on the other hand, I have never been one to pretend and not be honest.  At least I think I haven't. I don't want to put my husband out there in a bad light.  Instead, I wish I could communicate that I am afraid to communicate with him.  I'm afraid to stand up for myself.  I have 50 years of baggage in trying to hide my own wants and needs to please others in hopes of being accepted and loved.  I've created this monster of a situation I am in, and he just happens to be the object of something I am personally facing.  Same goes for my employment situation. It isn't like my bosses at work are doing anything different than they have always done. It is the way I have allowed myself to view my own role in the master scheme of things. I have created the insecurities I'm dwelling in.  It isn't them.

I feel so f-cked up right now.

Image: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/6h8043y-PwI/maxresdefault.jpg

Song:  https://youtu.be/SdIf_SnX70M Published on Nov 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

From Hurt to Humility

How do you manage all the negativity and frustration when people in authority over you have unrealistic expectations, make poor decisions, and have a different set of goals for the direction of the business?

I don't know, but I'd sure like to know.
I have a friend whose husband is in the military, and whenever they are jerked by a decision  made by higher-ups, out of their control, she seems to just flow with it and bloom where she is planted. I don't get it.  I wish I had those skills to be able to accept, adjust, and not just adapt--but to thrive. Instead, I strive (as in strife--not attempting to reach their goals!).

I'm looking for strategic answers to how to deal with my bitterness and resentment. Some people get Road Rage when they are cut off in traffic. I get filled with indignation and enmity when expected to do something I think is valueless, insensitive, and and imposition.

In Sunday school, our passage was 1 Peter 5 (NASB)

Serve God Willingly

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for 
God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spiritbe on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
And this morning in my quiet time,  I read the following:

Jeremiah 29 (The MSG) 
Plans to Give You the Future You Hope For
This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
“Build houses and make yourselves at home.
“Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.
“Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away.
“Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.
“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”
8-9 Yes. Believe it or not, this is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God: “Don’t let all those so-called preachers and know-it-alls who are all over the place there take you in with their lies. Don’t pay any attention to the fantasies they keep coming up with to please you. They’re a bunch of liars preaching lies—and claiming I sent them! I never sent them, believe me.” God’s Decree!
10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
13-14 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.
“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.
I know that Joseph was placed in a dry well to die, sold as a slave, falsely accused of something so opposing to his values and reputation, went to prison for years, and, yet. . . .
I certainly need to process all this through a daily renewing of my mind. My flesh is  weak. I need to discipline my M I N D.  
Lord, give me wisdom, direction, and scriptures to cleanse my bitter spirit. The talons of depression reach out to me through the road to bitterness and resentment. Help me to hide your word in my heart and bring the verses to mind when I am tempted to complain and judge.

From Hurt to Humility

How do you manage all the negativity and frustration when people in authority over you have unrealistic expectations, make poor decisions, and have a different set of goals for the direction of the business?

I don't know, but I'd sure like to know.
I have a friend whose husband is in the military, and whenever they are jerked by a decision  made by higher-ups, out of their control, she seems to just flow with it and bloom where she is planted. I don't get it.  I wish I had those skills to be able to accept, adjust, and not just adapt--but to thrive. Instead, I strive (as in strife--not attempting to reach their goals!).

I'm looking for strategic answers to how to deal with my bitterness and resentment. Some people get Road Rage when they are cut off in traffic. I get filled with indignation and enmity when expected to do something I think is valueless, insensitive, and and imposition.

In Sunday school, our passage was 1 Peter 5 (NASB)

Serve God Willingly

Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for 
God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spiritbe on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
And this morning in my quiet time,  I read the following:

Jeremiah 29 (The MSG) 
Plans to Give You the Future You Hope For
This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:
“Build houses and make yourselves at home.
“Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country.
“Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away.
“Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare.
“Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”
8-9 Yes. Believe it or not, this is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God: “Don’t let all those so-called preachers and know-it-alls who are all over the place there take you in with their lies. Don’t pay any attention to the fantasies they keep coming up with to please you. They’re a bunch of liars preaching lies—and claiming I sent them! I never sent them, believe me.” God’s Decree!
10-11 This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
13-14 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.
“Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.
“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it.
I know that Joseph was placed in a dry well to die, sold as a slave, falsely accused of something so opposing to his values and reputation, went to prison for years, and, yet. . . .
I certainly need to process all this through a daily renewing of my mind. My flesh is  weak. I need to discipline my M I N D.  
Lord, give me wisdom, direction, and scriptures to cleanse my bitter spirit. The talons of depression reach out to me through the road to bitterness and resentment. Help me to hide your word in my heart and bring the verses to mind when I am tempted to complain and judge.