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Expectations

9 Feb

I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations this week. It started with a conversation I had with someone recently about my busyness. They were questionning why I was busy, what exactly was I doing and why didn’t I have time to see them that particular time for coffee.

I homeschool my kids, and up until 2pm in the afternoon, I am not going to be free to talk on the phone or go out. It’s simple, their education comes first. I co-pastor with my husband, so generally I do alot of admin work for him, oversee kids ministry, teach and have leadership meetings, plus the general socialisation we have to do. Then, I have to take care of the house, and somewhere in my week I try to get time for me. That generally means I end up having coffee with someone though. Me time is not a very big part of my life.

Here’s the thing, if you know me, I can guarantee that I will not always have time for coffee or to chat endlessly on the phone. I will forget to phone you or take a day or two to email you. There is a whole church to take care of, so it could be months before I invite you for lunch or supper again. Sometimes things come up and I have to cancel. This is not intentional, it is just how it is.

My life is sometimes a blur, as I know many of yours is too. You could feel hurt, unloved or rejected by me. Again, that is not intentional. I am exactly the same. I feel hurt and let down if people don’t always see things through the way I expect/presume they should be done. This is a human condition, known the world over. It leads to us getting frustrated when people do not meet to our expectations, which can then lead, sadly, to a fractured relationship.

I realised something recently, though, and I’m trying to apply it to myself with others. Here it is:

I will let you down time and time again and not meet your expectations of me. However, when I don’t meet your expectations, you need to remember that these are your expectations of me, and not my expectations of me.

What do you think? Do you get frustrated when people don’t meet your expectations? Have you ever thought that you might place expectations on people which they haven’t necessarily placed upon themselves? Likewise, do you find yourself frustrated, because you are trying to meet what you think might be peoples expectations of you? I often fall into that trap.

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Waiting

27 Jul

I’ve mentioned before that I am not always good at waiting. I get quite impatient and want things to hurry along in my time rather than in God’s time. Now, to be honest, reflecting on various things that have happened in my life, where I have simply had to play the waiting game, I would have thought that by now I would be a pro and trust in God’s timing. Not so. Not that I don’t trust in His timing, I do, it is perfect and good. However, I fail to remember that He really doesn’t need my help and pushing along “Gee, you know Lord, I really think it’s time, you need to get a hurry on here or its all going to collapse and fall flat”

God has gently bought up a few scenarios in the past few days that have made me realize that He is talking to me about waiting and being patient (once more!) It started with a feeling last weekend, a sweet whisper from God that made me see that now is the time to put everything down, to let go and wait, watch and see. To draw closer to His presence and to have a time of rest, reflection and restoration. I pondered these things and left them in my heart, unaware that my husband was feeling the same thoughts.

We took our kids and their friends to a water park near our home on Monday. When we arrived there was a long line up which came outside from the building and down the sidewalk. We were quite far back in the line when there was a power outage. Some people began to leave, they didn’t want to wait in the heat for the power to be restored. We decided we would give it twenty minutes and then head to the beach. The longer we waited the more people drifted away and left. Pretty soon we were inside the main building. At this point a lifeguard came out of the office and reported that the power company had said that the outage could be repaired in five minutes or it could be as long as five hours. At this announcement most of the people waiting decided to leave, so we found ourselves third or fourth in line. One minute later the power came back on, much to the squeals of four happy kids!

While the kids were swimming Jonathan told me that he thought God was talking to him about waiting through the power outage (as well as other things). When he finished telling me this I turned to read a page in my book that I had been trying to read for around ten minutes, but I kept getting interrupted. The book is Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst. The next few paragraphs that I read were about David. Having been anointed as King of Israel, he was then sent back to the pastures to tend the sheep. He had to wait, it wasn’t time for him to take the throne. The waiting period was purposeful. David accepted his circumstances and didn’t resist where God had put him. He chose to see the good in waiting. These few paragraphs were really timely for me and on reflection I can see where waiting in my past has been purposeful and for my good.

Yesterday, Ann Voskamp wrote about a post called “Why is it Hard to be Patient?” Ann has a real gift with words, they always flow poetically off the page. In her post she talked about patience being a willingness to wait. That is it in a nutshell. Our impatience is a sign of our unwillingness to wait, to not have things on our terms and conditions.

Patience is waiting, it is a moment of surrender.

So, here I am trying to surrender and have patience. Meanwhile God is whispering into my ear “Wait, dear one, wait”.

Social Media

19 Jul

I’ve thought a lot about social media this week. These thoughts were prompted by the release of Google + and the many Facebook statues I’ve seen since “offering” invites to people. I have a Facebook (FB) account and a Twitter account and quite often I write the same on both. I’m really thinking about shutting my Facebook account down. Right now, the only thing that keeps me on it, is loosing contact with some people. I prefer Twitter, not only do I feel like my privacy is protected better on there, but I also don’t get the constant negativity or “I want to be the center of attention” vibe that is so often on FB. I’ve thought about de-friending people who I am in contact with regularly and just staying friends with people who I do not live close to, so we can keep in touch. This could really offend people though. The other thing that makes me stick with FB is that sometimes I only learn about a gathering going on due to an FB event invite. It seems to be getting more common to only invite people to things through FB now and not via email or telephone. As you can see I’m kind of in a catch-22 situation with FB!

Do you think there is too much social media in our lives? Do we need, or more so, is it wise, that so many sites can contain information about us? These days do you think it’s possible to live without social media? If you could only belong to one site which would it be? How much time do you spend using social media each day? Do you consider it a waste of your time and a hindrance from doing other things? What are the benefits of social media?

Summer Rain

30 Jun

There’s something about summer rain. To me it feels so much different to rain any other time of the year. I love sitting inside with the windows flung open hearing the rain fall. The gentle pitter-patter is so relaxing. Summer rain makes the earth smell sweet. It’s full of aromas like dried mud, finally getting soft again, the scent of freshly cut grass and the perfume from flowers. Summer rain is refreshing! The air is so sticky and hot, and then rain comes and falls on your skin, cooling it. It’s the time of the year when getting wet in the rain is fun!

The Post

20 May

I’ve gotten into a horrible habit lately of checking my email as soon as I wake up in the morning, so last night I purposely left my computer in the other room and didn’t “take it to bed” with me! When I woke up this morning I lay quietly for five or ten minutes then went out to the lounge for my cup of tea. I felt drawn to read James. I kind of groaned inside because I have not always gotten along with James’ letter! I’ve often felt like I was being told off in it! Anyway, this morning I realized it has some real gems in it too. Today I read this in James “Dear brothers and sisters whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For 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 strong in character and ready for anything.” (James 1:2-4)

After reading and praying I saw a picture. This is what I wrote down in my journal:

Had a picture of me standing on the ground near a “post” and there were some little cracks in the ground. Suddenly a hand appeared and tried to grab my leg. I managed to move away and grabbed on to the post. Then another hand appeared so I climbed up the post slightly (maybe a foot and a half off the ground). As I was in this position I realized that the hands could only come out of the ground so far, maybe up to the forearm. There was no ability for the arm itself to break through the ground, so the hands could not come out at, say elbow level or higher.

If I stayed where I was I would be safe. At this point I saw an image of me sliding to the bottom of the post. Then lots of hands appeared, and although they still could not come out of the ground any further than before, because there were more hands they were stronger and could quite easily overpower me and pull me to the ground.

After seeing this I realized that in order to be safe I had to climb further up the post. It was at this point that I saw that the “post” was Jesus. So if I draw closer to him then I get further up the post. Finally, I became aware that another word for post is pillar.

This year has been hard on me emotionally at church. I’m tired and very beat up. Sometimes I feel like I’m a human punch bag. The thing is though, I am a person, I have feelings too and shouldn’t have to put up with some of the stuff that has happened this year. It is wrong. If I were in any other job people would be advising me to leave because you shouldn’t be abused at work. This week has been a good week, sadly though a few hours after reading and praying this morning, I received another one of “those” emails. How did I handle it? I cried my eyes out and shouted! Calmed down and then Lady Wisdom took control.

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