Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hit By a Ton of Emotional Bricks

The last few days have hit me like a ton of bricks, and they hit hard! School stuff, emotions, and feelings I haven't felt for a long time all on a collision course for my heart and all struck at the same time.

I cried my way to work yesterday and couldn't have told anyone why because it was such a mix bag of things. Last night I woke up with night terror so bad that I sat on my bed with my heart pounding so hard in my chest that it made my head hurt. I woke up this morning sad and after feeding the furry babies cried myself back to sleep over something that I had given God such a long time ago and have gained such peace from Him. It wasn't the same, I didn't pick it back up, no it was different. It was like crying over a death from long ago that memories, good memories, stirred up remembrance.

As I got up I know I had a lot of cleaning to do. I opened Rhapsody on my computer and went to my cleaning standby, TobyMac. Who wouldn't be motivated to keep at even a ugh task as cleaning while listening to Toby? Well, today it aggravated me. I put down the dust rag and changed the music. I can't say it is better, still listening to it. It is good music, at least I think so, but the words are tearing me raw. The words feel like lies, but they aren't. The words whispering in my mind tell me they are but I know there not. I just need my heart to get where my brain already is.

I will keep cleaning when I'm done, but I knew I needed to sit down and write this. Not that I want to. I really don't like crying and admitting crying is even worse. I don't like sharing deep down me. I don't like hitting "publish" at the end of many of my posts, but I know that God has asked me to share my heart in this way. So I'll try to pour out what I can't even understand and put into words.

So the school stuff, last year I had a very stressful year. I had students who weren't behavior problems in the typical sense at least. I had OCD, ADHD, Autism, Emotional Disturbed, Learning Disabled, Anxiety Disorder, and many unnamed issues in my room. I felt like a punching bag each day. I felt pulled in a million needy directions. I had tears to deal with, some over hurt feelings and others over angry outbursts day in and day out. I honestly wanted to quit. I thought I would never teach another year. I thought I couldn't. The crazy thing was I loved these kids. They were needy and they needed me. The last day came and they all left after their promotion ceremony and I thought "next year will be so much easier!" I mean it had to be! Well, I got the class list and all dreams of a year without any such problems mocked me from the sheet of names. It isn't the kids themselves that are the issue. I guess the issue is I hoped that I finally was getting my due. I have had this type of class for years, I can't even count how far back. I guess I was hoping beyond hope that this year would be different. That this year the power that be would think I had suffered enough and needed a break. That didn't happen.

The emotions and feelings, well I already mentioned crying myself back to sleep this morning. The other day I put my pictures back up of the niece and nephews, one of Riley, and then I put up two of "my boy". I thought I could just hang them but the roll of emotions that went over me as I did made me stop and turn away. He isn't in my life, besides me reading the occasional Facebook post, and he isn't the boy that he was. Maybe I miss the memory of who he was most. Maybe I miss the hugs he readily gave or the smile that lit up his whole face. Maybe I miss a memory, a dream, maybe.

I also miss a feeling. A feeling that brought a smile to my face and a soaring to my heart. I miss a blossoming of something good, something I had never had before. Then it changed! Suddenly without any warning. Like running into a brick wall that wasn't there a second before. I tried to push against that wall and it just added another layer of brick. Finally the wall was so thick there was no point any longer. When it got there, or I finally realized how thick it had become, I totally turned it all over to God. He replaced it with a peace like I never expected and I felt light and free. So why the good memory stir today to push me to tears that rolled thickly down my face? I don't know!

Maybe it is what all struggle does. Struggle either draws you to Christ or it builds up a wall of its own inside of you. Right now I don't want to draw close to Christ. How's that for honesty for you? But I know beyond a shadow of doubt that I don't want it to build a wall in me. Maybe that's why I need to write this, need to post this. Maybe that will help me turn to Christ. I hope so.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You Are Invited!

Ready or not, and I'm pretty sure I'm not ready, but next Tuesday will be my first "Open House". I really don't know what to call it so that's it until a better name comes along. :)

So, August 21st at 6:00 PM my house is open to anyone who wants to come for dinner, time to read The Word, and talk about it. When I say anyone I mean anyone. Christian or not, church goer or not, married or not, parent or not, anyone is welcome to come. Kids are welcome too. They will be part it, not separated, so if you bring them know that.

If you want to come, come! If you want to bring something like a side, bread or salad would be great. Or you could bring drinks like soda, tea, or juice. If you have a Bible bring it, if not I have a few you could choose from. Do me a big favor, please, and let me know so I can make sure I have enough food ready.

Now my school friends are thinking that I'm nuts! This is the first full week of Teacher Workdays as we get ready for school to start. It is a super busy time and hectic and would seem like the worst time to do this, but I know it is the right time. This is the perfect time because I shouldn't let busyness keep me from God, from spending time with Him, or spending time with others.

I will be cleaning, organizing, and pray for next Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Little Thing Called Forgiveness

I have been harboring some unforgiveness for a little over 3 years. The thing is I thought I wasn't. I thought since the person I was upset with and I had no interaction and I had prayed about the hurt then thee wasn't any unforgiveness there. I had reached out to this person a few times over the last few years. I mean how could I reach out and still hold unforgiveness, right? Well, there was!

How did I realize that it was there? Simple, I knew that I was going to see this person soon and all the hurt and anger came back. Oh, I was surprised because like I said I thought I had dealt with it. I have been praying for the last few days about how I would deal with seeing this person. My prayers were focused on kind of "I hope I don't see this person. That we sort of just miss each other". Yeah, God wasn't going to let that happen.

So I slipped into bed and started to pray and as I prayed listing things to God it was more and more obvious that I had not forgiven this person, not at all! If anything it had gotten worse. I mean I could now add the "I reached out and got rejected" to my list of wrongs done to me. When I realized I was harboring unforgiveness I literally felt my stomach drop. It was gut wrenching! Then my listing continued, but now it was a list of all the things I need to let go of in order for the forgiveness to happen. As I listed each thing I felt my heart grow lighter, I mean literally!

Well, as it turned out there was no "sort of just missing each other" thing at all. Turning a corner and there we were, and with total honesty I was able to greet this person with joy. I was actually happier to see this person. I felt so much at peace!

Did forgiving change the past circumstances? No! Forgiving changed me though and for that I am truly happy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Faith for Miracles

I've been reading Matthew for the last few days and have been thinking about the miracles that Jesus performed. Three of the miracles stuck out to me. There are similarities in them, and things that really stuck out to me that were different.

The first miracle takes place in Matthew 8. Jesus enters Capernaum and a Roman captain comes up to him. Let me stop right there and point out that the Roman came to the Jew. Rome conquered Israel and Jews hated Romans. This Roman captain comes to Jesus and asks Him to heal his servant. Jesus offers to come heal the servant. The Roman tells Jesus that he needs to just say the word and he knows the servant will be healed. Jesus says that He has yet to come across such trust in Israel. He mentions that he is the beginning of many outsiders who become part of God's kingdom. Then Jesus tells the Roman to go and that his servant it healed. Then Jesus continues on.

The next one is about the Canaanite woman who comes to Jesus (Matthew 15) and asks him to drive an evil spirit out of her daughter. He tells her He is too busy dealing with the lost sheep of Israel. Um, wait a few chapters earlier He makes no comment about not helping Romans, as a matter of fact He says he was one of the first of many outsiders to come. Isn't this Canaanite an outsider? Yes, there is a long history with Canaanites but it struck me as strange. She goes on and says even the dogs eat the crumbs from the master's table. Jesus in so moved by her faith that he tells her that her daughter is healed. Then He just continues on his way.

The last one takes place in Matthew 9 and it involves a local official. The official comes to Jesus and says that his daughter is dead and that if He just touches her then she will live. Jesus got up and went with him. Before he gets there another miracle takes place when the woman with the bleeding touches Jesus and is healed. Jesus gets there and tells the mourners that she is just sleeping. He then goes in, takes her hand, and she is alive.

The similarities are that in each of these miracles someone came and asked for a healing for someone else. The Roman came and asked for his servant to be healed. The other two came and asked for their daughters to be healed. Of course, all three people were healed. All three people should faith that Jesus could do it.

The differences are what stick out to me. In both the Roman and the Canaanite they did not ask for Jesus to come with them. The Roman made a point of telling Jesus that He just needed to say the word and the servant would be healed. The Canaanite woman didn't make any conditions. She didn't ask for Him to come, to touch, to say a word. She just begged Him to help. The only one who asked for Jesus to come was the official, who I assume was a Jew since they were in Israel.

Okay, I hope I word this right because I think it is significant in this day and age. The outsiders did not need Jesus to come and touch. In both cases He simply spoke and they were healed. In both cases He emphasized their faith. Jesus came for the Jews, He said so to the Canaanite woman, and the Jew was the only one who asked Jesus to come and heal his daughter. He was the only one who needed Jesus to come. His faith was not as strong and he was an insider.

What does this mean for now? I think it means a lot about faith and a lot about Christians. Who had more faith in these miracles? The outsiders. Is that still true today? Not in all cases, but I think it might. Those who are not Christians do not expect God to come to them. They don't think they deserve Him or His touch, yet they still believe in Him. They believe He can heal. They've heard the stories, even read them for themselves, and they believe. Wen they need a miracle they do call out to Him and those who have faith like the Roman ans Canaanite call knowing He can heal. They know that He just has to say the word. Their faith is based on not seeing and on still being an outsider. Hopefully, they will go from outsider to insider, miracle or not.

Christians have faith too. They must or there is no way they could have accepted His forgiveness. They must have faith to believe that they are forgive and Christ is in their hearts. Yet, so often we, myself included, need to see His hand touch. We have the faith that He can put we still have to see it. We even pray for His touch. This isn't a bad thing, His touch is more amazing than words can even express. It's not about His touch. It is about our need to see His touch. Why don't we have as much faith as an outsider? A faith that knows we don't deserve it but we know He can heal, touch or not. Why don't we just ask Him to say the word? I know there have been times that I have prayed for Him to just speak into a situation or into my heart, but most of the time I pray for Him to touch the situation or touch my heart.

I want the best of both of these types of miracles. I want the faith that the two outsiders had and it just take the words of Jesus. I also love the fact that I am an insider, I have accepted Him into my heart, and that I have the ability to go to Jesus and know that He will come and He will touch.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Doing The Hard Work

Lately, I have been organizing. I am not an organized person so this is not necessarily an easy task. Yet, it feels good to have the odds and ends find a place. I like the looks of organized cabinets. It is nice to not have to move things out my way just to move them again because they got in my way in the new spot. I am not done. I wonder if I ever will be.

Today I did some rearranging in my bedroom. I wanted to move a cedar chest out of the living room and into my bedroom. That meant getting my round coffee table from my classroom. I went there today to arrange my classroom furniture. When I got home I moved around the furniture in my room so the cedar chest would fit in. It looks pretty good, but the kitties really didn't like it.

Now, why am I doing this? Well, obviously this is my home and I want it to be in a good condition. More importantly, because I made the invitation to open my home to dinner and time to study the Word together. I certainly don't want clutter in the way. :)

Some may have wondered if I have forgotten about the invite I made in the last post, but I haven't. I just need to take care of the grunt work and then an exact invitation will be made. My house and I will probably always be a work in progress, but hopefully both will be ready for the next step in my journey very soon.