Monday, October 18, 2010

Grow, Stretch and Strain, Take a Hiatus, then Plow....

Okay, so you can look at the title and figure it out that's what I've been doing. You all know that I've been blogging for under a year and it has been a wonderful experience.  I started making YouTube videos and looking into other ways to "expand my horizons".  Recently I've been thinking of how so many of us are involved in a ministry whether it's a large group at our local church, community, workplace or if it's just a self-started personal ministry.  Everybody has something that they are involved in where they can contribute to making a difference in someone's life. If you are a secretary or aide, you can set the tone for an office with your attitude.  If you are a stay at home parent, you can do the same with your family and those who come by for a visit. If you work in a medical profession, you are working in an area that can affect someone's health and livelihood. In the church, you can help strengthen another's spiritual walk. 

No matter where God has placed us, we have to learn to keep at what ever work He has given to us.  It will not always be fun, nor will it always be easy. When we first begin, we will grow in ways we never imagined...then as the load gets heavier, we question God about if we are really doing what He wanted us to do.....we stretch to cover everything or to move out of our comfort zone (without remembering to pray for continual guidance and other things) and then IT happens....we strain ourselves.  Whether it's our spirit, body, finances, patience, perseverance, or peace of mind, we strain something.  Then there we are looking helpless and ridiculous thinking "now, if I had only consulted God first....."  The good news is that He is ready and able to quickly repair us..even if we have to bear the consequences, He still gives us a solution.

Sometimes we have to take a hiatus, disappear, lay low.....only to rise for a quick breath then sinking again into a dark abyss....like a hippo...  Similar to sabbaticals, hiatuses are like mini rejuvenation vacations.  When I think of a hiatus, in my mind I'm in a spa, being pampered gently till I doze off only to wake up and have drool running out the side of my mouth.  It's during those times where we refocus, gather our material, sanity, and desire.  Saturate ourselves with the Holy Spirit.....We start to remember why we got into our ministries in the first place and before we know it we're on that last step (which happens to be the beginning of the first step): Plowing. 

We return feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, like a younger but wiser version of ourselves.  We have the stamina we wish we had before...we stand in front of the door of opportunity ready to march in and seize whatever comes to use it or to be used in whatever way is determined.  We are ready to plow the field before us to prepare it for future yield. Don't get discouraged when things don't quite work out how you want them to.....things happen for a reason independent of how we feel they should go.  God has the situation under control....so go ahead, go through the cycle....every time you will come out better prepared, stronger, fresher than when you started.

I'm Done

That’s it. I’m done. Done with the following:

• neck-turning, eye-rolling, head-shifting drama

• “I-think-I’m-better-than-you-because…” drama

• “If-they don’t-stop-getting-on-my-nerves” drama

• “They-must-not-know-who-they’re-dealing-with” drama

How many times do we as women admit that we start or encourage drama? (I include myself in that question.) Probably not often enough. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I think we create drama by just some of the everyday normal habits we have without knowing it. Most of the time it is initiated by some directed action towards each other. There is drama in our homes, friendships, workplaces, etc. Not all drama is major show-stopping drama, it may just be something small, short-lived but intense. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines drama as 1) a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces and 2) dramatic state, effect, or quality.

In our capacity to serve the Lord there is no room for drama. You may think, “Well, it says a series of events involving interesting or intense….” and the events may be interesting and/or intense….but the rest of that definition is “conflict of forces”. How do we serve our families, friends, church, coworkers, etc. with the right spirit if we have the mindset of conflict? There’s no way to get a job done if we want to keep drama in our corner. I know I’ve had to come to the realization that some people had to be cut out of my inner circle because of their perpetual roles of oil in my water. When you have water and oil in a bottle together and you pour them out, you will have traces of oil left in the container, the same way other people’s drama will leave a trace on your life (and vice versa). God can still use you, but you will be less effective.

When we realize the impact we can have on others with our own drama, and what steps we need to take to not taint our lifestyles and witness then it should prompt us to shut down unnecessary drama. Not saying we go around telling others that they need to “get right with God” and “stop being messy” but that we should “douse the fire” and not feed it with gossip, bitterness, hate and the like. That goes to include talking about the drama saying “well, if it was up to me….” like we know better than the parties involved. If we all take the time to pray and self-evaluate, God can and will show us how to avoid dramatic situations, thus rendering us a valuable addition in the areas He has placed us in.