Friday, May 21, 2010

So, I've been thinking...

This last week has been filled with a lot of thinking. I was given a week off from working on raising support for my job with Campus Crusade. A week reprieve from something that had become so much about me and my performance that I was losing sight of who God is and what He's done for me and why I signed on to work for Campus Crusade in the first place.

It's been a hard week, but it's been a truth filled week. I have heard truth from the Word, from some books, from some friends who love me and are willing to put it out there.

Two big things I wanted to share -

1. I need some serious accountability to spend time daily in the Word. I have a terrible tendency to move into avoidance mode when it comes to hard things. I will fill my time with anything rather than going to God with the appropriate level of desperation. He wants me to rest in Him, He wants me to find peace in Him and He requires me to yield control. Which leads to the second thing...

2. I have idols. We all do. To use the words of Tim Keller - our hearts are idol making factories. My idols are comfort, performance, achievement, knowledge, control.... I tend to make people and situations way bigger than they need to be. I dwell in self-pity (which is actually a form of pride) and I lose sight of all of the great things and people in my life and often look the gift horse in the mouth. I found myself complaining to a friend yesterday that this last week that I was "off work" was busier than I expected (she's a single mom and probably works 50 to 60 hours a week at her job, a day in her life is busier than a month of mine). She very quickly pointed that out and I was humbled and continue to be (and that's a good thing). Also, I am not in control of my life and I need to learn to be ok with that and to put God in His appropriate place ahead of all of the other things that compete for my attention. To really know that I can't add anything to Jesus and His completed work on the cross.

I write this because I need prayer. I'm feeling kind of desperate. I'm feeling the reality of not being in control and I'm terrified. Would you pray that I would learn to rest in Christ? And that God would make it increasingly clear what He wants me to be doing with my life and what I need to do to carry that out?

Thanks! And hope that everyone is else is doing well....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

the doubting sarah

re-posting this from my to be a better me blog (so some of you may see it twice), but I wanted to share it over here as well as an update.  Hope everyone is doing well!

Ever since I came undone I have had regular times when I really really struggle with doubt. The kind of doubts that Christians don't talk about.  Like, "all this God stuff sounds ridiculous--why am I even pretending to believe or convincing myself that I believe it?" or "How can I really believe that Heaven and Hell are real--that is just silly" or even "I don't believe that a good God would choose to save some people and not others when he could save everyone."  It's hard.  I feel like a bad person when I think those thoughts.  It makes me question who I am, my purpose in life, THE purpose OF life, everything.  I try to press those thoughts down, but occasionally they spring up.  Honestly I feel like I'm being blasphemous to even admit that I do struggle with this, but I feel like I'm supposed to share this.

Last night I was thinking about these things again--having skipped time with the Lord for 12 days (how ridiculous is it that 12 days can shake me!?!?).  I don't know why I let myself get in that kind of, I do is how Satan gets a foothold in my life (is it bad that I feel silly to even type that?  why do I have such a weirdness about admitting the reality of hell and satan and all that??) but that is where I have been. So I decided that instead of wasting time reading things that do not matter and allowing myself to get deeper in this pit I would spend time with the Lord instead. After reading Psalm 76 I picked up Brennan Manning's Abba's Child and started reading again--he deals a lot with doubts and faith and learning to find our true identity as a child of God.  Here are a few things that really struck me last night:
This fear of ridicule paralyzes more effectively than would a head-on attack or an outspoken harsh critics.  How much good is left undone because of our fear of the opinion of others!  We are immobilized by the thought: what will others say?  The irony of all this is that the opinions we fear most are not those of people we really respect, yet the same persons influence our lives more than we want to admit.  This enervating fear of our peers can create an appalling mediocrity. p. 134
 So I definitely struggle with this fear of looking stupid or being thought ignorant because of my faith.  That just breaks my heart--when i think about it clearly...unfortunately not often enough...   Back in college when I was in those classes with people who openly criticized Christianity I was silent.  Embarrased.  Confused.  Ashamed to admit my true identity in Christ.  Just plain stupid.  Now I am sad to say that I have adapted my relationships to be "in and of the world"--in my desire to relate to friends who are not believers or who are not walking with the Lord I have not been set apart.  I just try to blend in.  And that is not okay either.
The truth of faith has little value when it is not also the life of the heart.~Abba's Child. p. 135
 Manning goes on to quote Soren Kierkegaard, a philosopher about whom I studied much in my philosophy minor but now remember nothing!  But this quote rings so true:
We artful dodgers act as if we do not understand the New Testament, because we realize full well that we should have to change our way of life drastically.  That is why we invented "religious education" and "christian doctrine."  Another concordance, another lexicon, a few more commentaries, three other translations, because it is all so difficult to understand...
 Now I'm not knocking the pursuit of Biblical knowledge and theology--those things definitely have their places--but so often we lose sight of truth in search of information. 
The measure of our depth-awareness of Christ's present risenness is our capacity to stand up for the truth and sustain the disapproval of significant others. p. 137
 So if I truly comprehend (though I don't know that as humans we ever can...) or even begin to appreciate what Christ did for me, I should be not only willing, but EAGER to look foolish to others by proclaiming truth.  But it honestly scares me.

So what do I know?  When I fail to pursue a relationship with the Lord, I am opening doors and windows...basically knocking down the walls of invite Satan to bring these doubts into my mind.  It doesn't matter if it sounds silly to others or even if it makes sense or is is the truth and has been proven and shown so many times...and even if it wasn't proven, it's about having faith!  I mean, how silly would it be if every time that hubs and I were apart or not connecting the best I would all of the sudden doubt his existence and the legitimacy of our marriage?!?! 

I have so far to go, but I hope that by sharing this someone else will be encouraged to travel the road beside me...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Once Again I am the slacker and I haven't posted. I have been thinking about it and once I can put my thoughts together more coherently I will add to it. But no I have not been doing a quiet time and what little time I've had has been sketchy at best. I will update more hopefully throughout the week. I have hit the cruch point at school on so many things so it will be chaos but I will post. Thanks for your patience, prayers and understanding. I can't tell you how much it has been appreciated.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

times of trial...

Thanks as always to our "fearless leader" sabrina for starting off the accountability checkin.  I totally am struggling with the same types of things, and am wondering is we are just going through a time of trial and being attacked by Satan for trying be involved in something that can be so glorifying to God?

Well, here is my check in:

1. Did you spend quality time each day with the Lord? If so, how was it? If not, why not?

Nope nope nope.  The times that I have spent with the Lord have been a bare minimum--just doing it to check it off the list. I wrote in my prayer journal 4 times this week...the first two I can tell I was actually focused on it, but the last two were quickly jotted requests with no real heart.  I have been sick again...we think it was the flu?  (tests at my doctor were inconclusive). I was in bed Tuesday--Friday, then had a good day Saturday and today am in a lot of pain again.  I don't know why instead of leaning on the Lord during these times I just hole up in a cocoon and ignore him altogether??  Makes no sense, but that is what I'm doing.

2. What was the biggest struggle for you this week?

When I have times like this when my health is really bad, I wallow in depression and have a very defeatist attitude.  I have no desire to do anything and my attitude is horrible.  Not glorifying to God at all.

3. What is your biggest praise from this last week?

In the midst of everything, hubs and I talked more about whether I need to leave my job and finally came to what I think is a resolution.  I'm kinda bummed b/c I did not get the position that I was really hoping for (a part time administrative position at a church) but I am sending out resumes and praying for God to provide something.

4. Is there anything you feel you need to confess or repent of?

Wallowing in depression.  Failing to see the wonderful things that God has provided.  Just a negative attitude.  Also, I am failing in the area of commitment.  I have this drive to do well for a few days, and then I don't care anymore and stop trying.  This goes for time in the word, getting things done at home, and trying to make better choices regarding my health/weight.

5. Share what you are committing to do with the Lord next week.

To be totally honest, I feel afraid to even say anything b/c I think I will fail!  I have not been able to follow through with anything lately and am scared to put anything out there and then to check back in next week and admit that I did nothing.  I guess I just need to trust Him daily with our future, finding a new job, and trust His strength to get me through each day...and to take baby steps of faith.  I will: talk to one of the doctors I work with about leaving my job, and I will pray about it daily and really spend time with the Lord.  No more wasting time on the internet or TV. 

Crawling these days...

1. Did you spend quality time each day with the Lord? If so, how was it? If not, why not?

Ummm... no. I feel like I have been a broken record the last three weeks. I spent time with the Lord two or three days this week. My biggest reason for not doing it is oversleeping. I said that I was committing to do it at night if I didnt get up, but that just didnt happen either. I am not sure why I am struggling with getting up so much lately, but it has been bad!

2. What was the biggest struggle for you this week?

Getting up each day!! Any suggestions?? I have just been ignoring the alarm clock or choosing to sleep more. When I am awake I know that I would rather wake up early than get those last few minutes of sleep, but lately I just cant tell my sleeping self that. I need any and all advice. 

Also I have struggled with just wanting to be a recluse and not give people any time or effort.

3. What is your biggest praise from this last week?

Some of my youth girls! A week ago we had a DNOW and it really helped them refocus and get close. One even accepted Christ! Yay!

4. Is there anything you feel you need to confess or repent of?

Laziness! Huge laziness. Just choosing to not do things because I dont want to, which is completely selfish. I feel like I have not been a servant or even attempted to serve others this week.

5. Share what you are committing to do with the Lord next week.

Well again, I am committing and trying to be as resolved as possible to spend time each day at some point with the Lord! Memorize three more verses in Phil. And actually pray for each of you (which I must confess I have not done thus far...). 

Your Turn- how are you doing Spiritually?? You can leave a comment on this post or write your own post on here. If you are not setup as a blog author and want to be, let me know. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Yes...I am the slacker once again...go figure! :)

Any who...I can't do check in this week due to lack of internet access.

I do have a huge prayer request...please pray for my family. My Mom's Mom died this week and the funeral is Thursday. Please remember us as we face this week and its challenges. Thanks...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I don't want Jesus to be my Facebook friend

I just wanted to share something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately.

In my Bible Study with BSF, we are studying the book of John this year. Last week we discussed John 17, which is Jesus' prayer for his disciples and Himself. Often referred to as the High Priestly prayer. As part of the lesson, we were sent to Hebrews to look at Jesus as the ultimate High Priest and we discussed a lot about what it means to truly know Jesus.

Through the study, I began to see how I treat Jesus like a Facebook friend. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with some long lost friends, but for the most part, it encourages me to observe people's lives effortlessly without being really involved. I can know the latest news about 200 people, see their photos, and have an idea of what is happening in their lives. I can do all of this by just looking at my home page. I end up knowing a lot about these people, but not really knowing them at all. Facebook has given me a false sense of community. I share what I want and only tell the bits of myself and experiences that I want people to know.

I often find myself treating Jesus like a Facebook friend. I know a lot about Jesus. I am even in a Bible Study and read my Bible regularly, but at the end of the day, I'm not always experiencing the relationship with Jesus that I want to be or should be. I am not putting in the effort to allow that relationship to be truly transformational. In order to experience true community (even with the Lord) I have to be honest about what's going on in my life. I will never grow in my relationship with God by only mentally absorbing information about Him. I have to be willing to dig in, be vulnerable and allow myself to be transformed through the reading of His word and the power of the Holy Spirit.

I confess I'm bad at this. It's easier for me to be intellectually informed and satisfied by that but God is calling us to a deeper love in Him - a love for Him and for others enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit.

You can pray that I would learn how to pursue a relationship with Christ that is much more intimate than just being Facebook friends, a relationship that grows over time and work and transforms my life.