Anyway, one of the things I really have a hard time with it talking about my faith and God. I am not sure why because it isn't something I am ashamed of. I think, to some degree, I am afraid that I will sound weak and somehow do God a disservice - as you can tell, missions work would not be for me (at least not under my own steam). I am certainly more of a Martha than a Mary and I need to learn to slow down, ponder and share. I am hoping to use my blog on Sundays to do just that. I won't be writing a sermon or a really deep reflection on scripture, just to talk a bit about where I am at now and where I hope to go. I am hoping that as I develop my "voice" here, I will feel more confident in using it in other areas of my life.
My big thing right now, aside from my wonderful Bible study, which I will get to in a minute, is listening to podcasts. I have an ipod and a player in the car and I download things to listen to on the drive to work (which takes about 25 minutes). I have been feeling really lost of late, not sure what I should be doing and totally aware that MY plans for my life don't seem to be working so I have been trying to look for other options. I have prayed a lot about this in the last little while and what I keep coming back to is that I feel that God is telling me that we need to clean up our finances. We do pretty well but after many years of being double-income-no-kids, the year I was off on mat leave combined with life expenses now has put us in a position where we feel it is really hard to manage. As so often happens, I find it amazing how God gives me guidance. I have been listening for a while to Andy Stanley's podcasts from North Point and last week, I downloaded a new series called Lo$t - doesn't it turn out to be about financial management and how to use our finances to further our faith??? It has really opened my eyes. How can God use us when we are so focused on trying to make ends meet that we have no freedom? I wouldn't say that Dh and I are people who worship money and we don't live lavishly but we certainly do need to realign our priorities - eliminate debt, use what we have been given to reach out to others and to give generously. This is also really pressing on me because I want to model to Pk how to live in a financially responsible way (something that neither Dh or I learned growing up).
The online Bible study has been WONDERFUL!!! and it really shocked me today when I realized that it is almost over. It must be working because when I went to my naturopath (I am going for weekly acupuncture to help with fertility), she immediately noticed something was different and commented on it. Usually, I end up in tears with her because I don't feel like I can talk about the fertility issues with anyone but this week, I was much calmer and more focused. Last week, in the study, we were really looking at the lies that we believe that keep us captive. I got more excited as I did the readings for that day and couldn't wait to get Pk in bed so that I could sit down with my journal and hash some of that through. The lies I punish myself with have been such an oppressive stronghold for me. The biggest are my issues around not being pregnant - I must be a failure as a woman, other women will pity me and I can't stand that, somehow this is all about something I am not accomplishing, we are not really a family if we don't have at least two children, God is somehow punishing me for something (don't know where that comes from because I am not a woman with an abortion in my past), Pk will be left totally alone, etc., etc., etc. It's all about my pride and my need to chase the next dream... I have never learned how to be happy where I am and that is a legacy that I don't want Pk to inherit. I am trying to be more aware of these thoughts creeping in, to mark them when they appear and to learn ways to counter them. Beth Moore suggests scouring scripture for appropriate verses and keeping them with you. I haven't had time to do that but that is my next step.
Finally, on another track (no wonder I never finish a book!) I am reading two right now that are faith related. The first is The Shack by William P. Young which I am enjoying and A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm, which is a nice read and interesting in a slightly quirky way. The Shack hasn't been what I was expecting, which is a nice change and the Shepherd is, as I said, really interesting (other than that Pk seems fascinated with it and keeps pulling out my bookmark).
We finish the Beth Moore study this week (I think) and are starting a Peter study in our small group at church, so here's hoping that I can keep moving forward. If you have any suggestions for scripture passages that have brought comfort to you and/or that your would suggest for my collection, I would love to hear them!