Although today I have been VERY tired, I feel like I have a second wind on life. Let me explain. On my last post, I wrote about feeling like I was running out of steam. I really was feeling bogged down and tired and kind of beat up physically and emotionally. The only person to blame for that was myself. I have allowed myself to get that way, to start thinking and focusing on the negative and I haven't been close to the Lord in a while. Every since getting married, I put my quiet time on hold, getting caught up in the excitement of being married and all the responsabilities of running a home. It was kind of like I told God "Thanks for bringing me to this amazing point in my life, I'll take it from here." I realized that today and my mind set has changed. I realize I need to make time again every single day for some alone time with God. Without that, everything I do is going to bog me down and make me tired. I haven't filled my cup with His strength and I've been trying to do it all on excitement and personal strength alone. It's not possible!! So, today, I was revitalized and my vision has changed and I'm ready to face everything, with God this time back at the wheel. I think He probably looks down at us when we're doing all this and struggling and thinks to Himself, "Why on earth do you WANT to do this alone when I can carry you through it?? I WANT to help you!!" And yet, here we are, "beating at the wind" as one of the writers of the Bible said...it's all vanity. So here's to a renewed spirit in me and a "fresh" start that will hopefully be a longer-term change. I know I will have to renew this spirit from time to time but if I keep God in control, it won't have to go so long before I finally do it again.
Part of the reason for this renewal of purpose and focus was what we studied in Sunday school today and then what our Sunday evening study was over. I was hit over the head twice today with the realization of what I should be doing with my life. First, in Sunday school we did an over-view of the book of James. This book focuses on how to be a "mature" Christian. While reading through it, so many things stood out that I don't do that I should, therefore showing me that I'm clearly not as mature of a Christian as I so often thought. It brought to surface the fact that the number of years you are a Christian doesn't affect how mature you are, it just shows how long you have had to become mature...regardless of whether you are or not. I have to say that in the past couple of years since my dad started GracePointe, I have matured a lot. I've gone through some difficult times which were brought on by myself and had some inner turmoil as to what direction I was going to go in life. Thankfully, I chose to continue my path serving God and not the alternative: serving myself. That's not to say that I haven't still struggled with serving myself and my desires, but God has brought me back time and again to Him, showing me how powerless I am without Him. So, I have matured, but I'm still not anywhere near the mature Christian that the book of James speaks about. That made me really want to change things about myself that have needed changing for a while. It's true what they say about not being able to change until you want to and you make the effort to. I want to change now. I want to grow into a mature Christian that God can use beyond where I am right now. The second time I was poked in the conscious today was at our Class 301: Discovering your Ministry study tonight at church. We have a series for the members of our church that starts with 101 which is for people interested in becoming members of our church and it explains what we believe as a church and what being a member of our church means. Class 201 is about maturity and growing in your walk as a Christian. Now class 301 is focusin on developing your ministry and doing what God designed and called you to do with your life. I realized as we were going through the "how" of finding your ministry, that there are so many things I enjoy doing and I don't know exactly which one to focus on. Right now I'm working with the women of the church on a special song. I used to direct a women's choir at the previous church we attended and it was really something I enjoyed and the women enjoyed. That would definitely be one of the ministries I would want to be involved in. Another one that I had started up but can't do right now because of time constraints was the women's book club. I enjoyed that, but it was hard finding a time when all the women could come and then they were even having a hard time finding time to read the books. Maybe in the future it will be something that can be started up again. Youth has also been a passion of mine. I taught junior high Sunday school at our last church and I loved it. I really enjoy working with youth (I teach high school Spanish and really enjoy it despite the behavior issues) and we don't have a youth group as of now. Waylon also has a passion for youth and feels called to be a youth minister. We both feel like starting a youth group would be something we could do together and serve whole-heartedly in for our church. That's definitely something that takes A LOT of prayer and hard work to build and maintain. With Waylon going to school right now and working, it will be hard for us to do a lot for that, but we do have plans to start it in the future. I know that if we are prayerful and always seeking God's timing and will, He will lead us at the right time. I'm really excited about finding my ministry though and developing it and seeing the ministries that the other members of our church are lead to. I feel that this year is going to be a year of growth for our church as we already have aproximately 6-8 new people in attendance and two new members back at the beginning of the year. God is blessing our church and we have a great core group that is dedicated to building it up and bringing in new people. With my Mary Kay business just beginning, I feel that I can even use that as a way to minister to the women I meet and even the women at my church with free pampering and giving them gifts they will love. I want it to be a positive thing in my life, and not something that makes people want to avoid me. I am doing it for extra money, however, the more I get into it, the more I see that it is also a way of connecting with women and filling a need for them and doing it in a loving and caring way. I hope I portray that towards the women I encounter and do business with.
The last thing I wanted to write about was 9/11. We just celebrated the 7th year anniversary of that tragic day. I still can't believe it has been that long. I was doing laundry at my parent's house tonight and the History channel had a documentary on with pure footage, no narration, of 9/11 from several on-lookers and pedestrians who were video taping the whole thing. As I watched it and heard the cries of fear and shock and saw the thousands of people in NY city running for their lives and finding shelter, I was reminded of how dangerous this world has become. It brought back all the anger I felt 7 years ago when I was watching it happen on TV and driving to school, listening to it on the radio and finding out that it was a terrorist act. To see footage of the real people who went through it, of the fire fighters who went into the first tower and never came back out alive, the buildings burning and people jumping out of it...it was horrifying and so sad. I can't imagine being there and witnessing it all and watching two towers collapse with thousands of people inside. It's so sad, I just wanted to write a little bit and reflect on it and be prayerful of the people who lost their family members 7 years ago and hope that it doesn't take another tragic even like 9/11 to bring our nation back to God.
On a quick side note...I'm not a political person by any means as far as knowing a lot about politics. I do get informed about presidential candidates and I do vote every election because I want to have a say in our country's future. I have to say that the more I see on Sarah Palin, the more I like her. She is shaking things up quite a bit and I think she's going to make this a much closer race than many democrats give her credit for. I have to admit that McCain was not my number one choice in the primary's - I did not vote for him, however, I will be voting for him in the upcoming election simply because I would rather have him in office for 20 years than Obama for 1 day. I would have rathered have Hillary as a president than Obama, and I can't stand any of the Clinton's!!! - so maybe that gives you a hint of how I feel about Obama. Either way, this year, the elections were looking pretty grim and un-exciting until Palin showed up on the scene out of nowhere. A lot of folks think that McCain did himself a huge dis-favor by appointing her as his running mate. Well, from all the press and interest in her, I think he has done himself a HUGE FAVOR. She is making me feel 10 times better about voting for him as president. I think she did a great job on her interview this week against liberal idiot Charlie Gibson who kept trying to corner her into saying something wrong. Un-biased media my butt!! She stood up to him and didn't back down and didn't show any fear or weakness when he was bullying her and I was proud of her. She's good people in my book and she has my vote. Like I said before though, I'm not really a political person and there are aspects about every candidate that I don't like or don't agree with. But I have to chose someone, and that most definitely wouldn't be Obama. No thank you - I want America to stay great, thank you very much!
Well, well, that was probably the longest political "rant" I have ever gone on. lol. I didn't even plan on writing about that, it just came to mind when I was thinking about 9/11 and all the catastrophe's the Bush administration has had to deal with in his term. He had a rough time and I really think he did the best he knew how and felt that was best for the country. That doesn't make him perfect or mean that everything he did worked out like he had planned, but he still did better than any citizen who complains about him would have done. They would have us be sitting ducks, waiting for another attack on our country, imposing fear at every corner.
Ok, that's it for tonight. I'm getting all worked up!! I need some rest tonight to get my week started off right. Good night all,
p.s. what do you think of my new layout?? I like this one a little better I think. It's simple yet, looks really cool. Let me know your vote!