Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hard work produces a profit.

The blog of all blogs… I hope this makes sense. I’ve been trying to get it down on “paper” for a few weeks now. But I’m glad that I was able to finish it tonight… this weekend was a blessing and I’m glad to finish this in hope instead of frustration!

Hard Work. I’ve found myself desiring to be a wife and a mom that gets to stay home and clean house. I think, “I’ll make breakfast for my husband, spend tons of time with the Lord, work out at least an hour everyday and get about 7.5 hours of sleep each night.” Real life? Not for many of the moms I’ve been around. They are definitely Proverbs 31 women, but let’s get real. Every day unexpected things happen… the day gets hiccups and at times falls down and goes boom!
I have an incredible job and desire to be there as long as I’m supposed to be. The vision, people and benefits are great.... But the desire to be a career woman left me a long time ago. I’ve found myself saying, “It’s a great job, as long as I have to work. See, I want to be a wife and mom, but since I can’t do anything to make that happen as long as I have to be here, it’s a good job… but I don’t want to work!” Don’t want to work???? What am I thinking?

The rest of my life I will work, I have to embrace the work and enjoy the work and the fruit of the labor… I’ll also never arrive… life is about process! Embrace the process!

I just spent a few days back in East Texas for Tara’s wedding (so beautiful!) and to spend a few days with Tandra, Stephen and their new super beautiful little girl, Rachel. Helping with just one little one that nurses and sleeps was certainly less work for me than helping with 5 that have ballet, karate, naps, picky food issues and one in diapers. Also being back in Longview reminded me of my life back there… It was great, but it was also the typical unmarried life (my new preference to single, is unmarried. It’s in the bible.. check it out in 1 Cor 7 ;-)!). I certainly had a lot going on and was busy helping the church and helping out friends and even babysitting for the Graves family every weekend, but it was on my terms. Living with them is a lot more dying to self. NOW HERE’S WHERE I WANT TO BE OPEN AND HONEST… but please hear me. The Graves are amazing and DO NOT EVER ask too much of me in helping out. It’s the being apart of a family, the coordinating of picking up kids, bed-time when John’s out of town working, cleaning this massive house before Life Group on Sunday… it’s all of the things that come with a big family that are causing me to die to self.

I’ve been snapping at the kids a lot lately. Not really out of frustration, and it’s not a snapping in anger. It’s a “DO this now” kind of snap. I have felt like I come home and we don’t have time for them to play or disobey or be silly. “We have a task to get done! It’s bedtime. Come on, guys obey the first time!”

They’ve asked me a few times, are you ok… they are noticing that I’m not ok. I’m tired. But it’s not just the physical tired or the fact that my body is weak now with a sore throat… I’m spiritually tired.

Tonight I was so blessed to attend a Thanksgiving (thank you) dinner for the entire worship minister (about 350 people there with their families!)

I really feel like God lovingly reveal some things to me. In worship we sang an old Keith Green song (how I love Keith Green)… about not seeking our own crown in God’s Presence and there I was seeking crowns in my head… wondering what people were thinking of me. I told God, I’m tired of fear of man… and that I just needed Him. I believe He started allowing me to see that when I approach Him, I don’t feel like I’m enough and that’s why I am striving a lot. He reminded me of the price He paid for me and that He loves me enough to pay the greatest price of His son…

Then I remembered how I’ve been snapping at the kids, and it hit me. Children really are reflectors of your own character and if you watch how you treat them (and how they treat you back), you’ll learn a lot about yourself. I realized I come home and am treating them the way I’m treating myself. I so long to enjoy each moment and not just think about the next task that needs to be done, but I’ve been failing miserably.
Marcus Brecheen shared a message at the Thanksgiving dinner and here are some of the life changing points..

A lot of people have gifts, but character is a victory.
One of the greatest tests is business.

How to know ur spiritually tired-

Lack of compassion
Loss of ability to empathize
Surfacing on relationships

The Lord is so good. I went down for prayer (humbled myself) and walked away knowing God was going to bring rest and revelation… and He did. It’s been a long weekend of Nicole and Hannah at dance convention, driving Friday night to Ft. Worth to stay with a friend, singing at all five worship services in the choir, watching the kids last night, walking through an emotionally difficult weekend with a good friend… but something changed. Shifted really. I’m at peace. My heart feels taken care of by the King. I stayed up late last night with the 4 kids (minus Hannah) and the two little girls just clung to me missing Mommy. I needed that time wth them. I needed to kiss and tickly little Johnny and play karate with Joseph. It’s hard to come in as the big sister and have authority when I don’t have the fun/love/joy time with them. It was a late night, but it was a good night with them.
In worship this morning there were so many powerful moments, especially singing, “When I speak Your Name”. I just felt my spirit rising up and saying, “speak Jesus over every mountain in your life”! It was very powerful. And yet, the fear of man and performance I’ve struggled with kept rising up, too. I told God, I’m sorry, Lord! I don’t want to seek a crown (recognition, being noticed or praised) but just to bring you glory. The Lord sweetly whispered in my ear of His love and hope. I was in awe and for moment forgot that I was on a stage surrounded by a huge church. God loves me and wants nothing more than to give me hope I so desperately need to walk in faith, faith that pleases Him. He didn’t judge me or get frustrated with me b/c have of the worship time, I was wondering if I looked thin, or NOT, and wondering if I was noticed in the sea of faces… I don’t deserve His love and hope, but He gave it anyway. My precious Jesus. He truly is my strength and my portion.

When I was at Tara’s wedding I can’t even remember how many times someone older asked me when my wedding is going to be… they’d grab my hand and ask where my ring is. HELLO… there’s not even a man, how on earth can there be a ring.  One older gentleman sweetly told me, “Maybe God needs a little help” Seriously???? I’m over here trying to give Him more and more control and you’re telling me to take it from him and try to “catch” a man? NO THANK YOU! I don’t want the kind of man that will respond to me pursuing him! Oh how I long to respond. I fully believe God reveals, the man initiates and the woman’s job is to respond… Yes, that’s the nut shell version, but I want to respond to God and to a godly man whose heart is after the Lord…

The other day I was driving and thinking of different relationships I know of. I just cried out to God to let me deal with as many issues now that I can before marriage. I completely know that marriage will bring up issues and character will have to grow, but, OH LORD! Please help me to lay down as much as I can now!

I have so much hope. The enemy use to try to get me to believe that I’m forgotten or behind. Whose time-table is he on? Who cares that I’m 28 and living with a family and feeling like I’m not establishing anything tangible of my own, because the truth is what is being established in my heart is more than walls of a house.
Proverbs 19:14 (AMP)
House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord.

Man can give wealth, but it’s the Lord who gives wisdom, understanding and prudence. If this is true, then my job as an unmarried woman is not to look left and right for a husband, it’s to look straight ahead searching for God. Searching for His wisdom, understanding and prudence.

Lord, thank you that you are speaking to me despite all of my failures, blind spots, mistakes, prideful thoughts, and impatience. I’m yours Lord. You have my heart.


Michawn said...

That's awesome. Really awesome, Enna.

Melissa Terry said...

I love your heart and so thankful you gave us a glimpse of it. God is doing such a beautiful work and thank you for giving me a front row seat!

Love you...

Anonymous said...

Good blog. I like what you said about burnout and it's certainly true.

Archie said...

Anna, I just happened to come across your blog. Thanks for sharing. Your life sounds similiar to mine. I'm 30, and still unmarried. I do feel spiritually tired, so often...but the joy and refreshment that comes when we get that renewal from the Lord awesome, unexplainable and makes trusting Him so worthwhile.