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Archive for November, 2006

Week Thirteen

Week 13

This week the children had a long holiday due to Thanksgiving Thursday. At the shelter, It made my work week a little easier because all the highschoolers (who normally wake up at five am) were allowed to sleep in. I had so much work planned for this week at home as I wanted to prepare for the holiday and visits, cleaning house and working in the garden (removing and changing the mulch, liners around the plants and trees, planting new flowers etc). I find the gardening wery therapeutic, caring and nurturing the beautiful things God has provided us on this earth.

The house is still incomplete, missing the base moulding and door frames. I regretted my decision of telling the door installers to leave out the outside frame, because I wanted the pretty "fluted column-like" frames instead. My dear husband and I managed to install a couple of them this week. I just about killed myself with work, though. The longest stretch of sleep I got all week was 3 hours. I tend to have a one-track mind when I get started on a project. I push myself to the limit, and when I get exhausted, I push even more! To the extent that I won’t even have time to eat after fixing the kids their meals…

All in all, our Thanksgiving turned out to be a great feast, and the house looked ok. We ate together as a family, reflecting on the good gifts we’ve received from the Lord. What a blessing!

A couple of strange incidents have taken place. Our "resident ghost" (as I call him) flipped a knife out of my hand and caused it to fly to the floor, as we were enjoying our feast. My husband felt something brushing by him as it happened. I guess he’s getting more sensitive to that stuff, seeing it happen around me all the time. A couple days later, we had a wonderful time at our home as we received a visit from our precious friends, Brother J. with his family. Many of the brothers and sisters from Upper room had been planning on visiting our Lutheran service on Sunday. I was so excited, finally my dear husband would get to meet them!!! Too bad brother L. was sick with the flu, so he and sister S. could not make it.

I was wondering whether there would be any spirit activity during the visit. I noticed some the day before, as I was doing my typical whirwind act of fixing up the place (when I’m in that mode, folks and pets better stay out of my way!). Sunday turned out to be such a peaceful and harmonious day that I’m sure nothing extra was around during our visit. But soon after, while I was relaxing in a bath, a mirror and a piece of moulding that was leaning against it, crashed to the floor. They’rrrre baaack! Yikes…

I’ve been discouraged by such occurrence, and keep asking for God’s assistance in this matter. The Word is my comfort and the only thing that has the power to reassure me; bigger is He who’s in me than he who’s in the world!!! I try to hang onto that promise, yet the wicked one still keeps messing with me and I don’t know how to put an end to all of this undesirable activity around me. Maybe with some serious praying and fasting. But I already eat next to nothing…

I have a feeling that God’s trying to tell me I cannot go about it alone. I fool myself, thinking that I am strong enough to deal with it by myself. In reality, Jesus is the true source of my strength. Only in Him can we be victorious.

I’m still pondering whether to tell someone.

How can I ever get away from them… The shelter is full of "dem" buggers…

Week Twelve

Week 12
The week is nearly over and my heart is bursting at it’s seams. It’s been going through some extremes between my relationship with the Lord and on the other hand, struggling with the old self and the flesh…

A couple days ago, I was seeking the Lord, crying out my concerns to Him outdoors by a pond, surrounded by pine woods. This took place in the middle of the night, near my "other" church which has a large area of undeveloped acreage adjacent to the more developed church area. Our church is at the edge of our town where one can really see the stars shining very bright at night. Always loved that place. I was supposed to work an extra night at the shelter, but upon arriving found out that someone was already there, covering the shift. I had rested the day before, and had just come from our Friday night praise meeting, so I was bursting with energy, full of the Holy Spirit.

As I was driving away I pondered -what should I do? I considered going to the truckers night plaza which is located by the turnpike and always has lots of activity at night, quite an interesting place. I’ve gone there at times, just to talk with the folks that come and go. You can hear some pretty interesting life stories there. I thought that maybe I’ll go there and witness to someone if Lord provides me the opportunity, or just chat, have a cup of coffee perhaps… Well, it was a neat idea, but instead I ended up by this pond, in quiet solitude (with occasional sounds of wildlife, raccoons and such, chittering and shrieking their cautions to the unexpected intruder).

I love to talk to "my Daddy" out loud and this was a perfect place to havea good talk. I told him about my concerns and issues. I begged Him to answer me with such clarity that there’d be no doubt in my mind where it was coming from and whom. I complained to the Lord about how the "other side" was always so eager to come up with deceptive answers and enticing experiences to a curious creature such as I .

Why is it, Lord, that I always want someting more, something different… This tendency gets me in trouble over and over again, although it also provides me opportunities to reach people in places that most christians wouldn’t mess with. Oh well, I’ve always been a wild child and without fear (which is no good, but the Good Lord has always protected me, even in the most unfortunate situations). Those times were quite exciting! But now I have a wonderful family, and along with it countless blessings and responsibilities…

It’s funny how our attempts to reach God can sometimes end up with us realizing (and even dwelling in) our smallness, our lackings, resulting in a mere confusion. Why do you allow that to happen, Daddy? All I want is to get closer, to hear your voice, to get even a small glimpse of your majesty… But on the other hand, who do I think I am, to expect such treasures… I’ll probably end up using them wrong anyways… But still, I press on, I demand, sometimes I even give You ultimatums. Oh, what trouble You must have dealing with me!

That night was one of an inner struggle, the demands of old self rising to the surface, blaming God for my inability to let go of my old interests, even accusing Him of not caring, why else would He hide His face from me? Such immature behavior from a child of God. I knew better, surely His grace must suffice… But that wasn’t enough for me! What a foolish child…

So I spent most of the night wandering around, crying out, waiting for some kind of a sign, anything… And received nothing. In the morning hours I gave God a some kind of ultimatum (ok, fine, if You won’t talk to me, I’ll find answers elsewhere). Unfortunately, that resulted in another kind of experience that no christian should have. And, the following night brought along more undesirable activity, shaking me awake in the middle of the night. I guess I asked for it. I spent a lot of time in prayer, repenting of my foolish and rebellious behaviour.
* * *
Brother J. delivered a word the following night, helping me recognize that this is something I cannot ignore, but will eventually have to deal with. But how could I even try to describe such things that he may not be able to understand. Praise God, he has no need to! Brother L. knows the nature of what I’m dealing with, having experienced similar things in the past. We’ve discussed such topics before, but not in detail.

Sometimes I just want to give up.

Week Eleven

Week 11

This week has brought along several blessings in the midst of the trials. I’m very pleased that many of my dear friends have been able to attend the gatherings at Upper room. Brother L. is recovering from his latest ordeal, and is starting to feel better -boy how I’ve missed him and sister S! My friend and co-worker B. also came for a Wednesday night bible study and felt comfortable enough to engage in discussions as we talked about the basic truths of the Bible and how they apply to Christian’s way of living. She also attended Friday night service. Praise God!

We could not get our oldest ones to attend the Sunday morning service at our Lutheran church. They avoid going to church lately and that worries me somewhat. I guess the congregation is getting the message slowly but surely, they are no longer interested in participating (M. as an acolyte, B in charge of the screens). I’m the nursery lady and miss the service when ever children are present, because there are no speakers in the nursery. But it’s still good to come meet the church family.

On our way home, I took the little ones through a car wash, as they think it’s loads of fun. There was a man standing at the street corner, holding a "NEED WORK" sign. He looked familiar to me and I almost stopped the car, but couldn’t because of the traffic flow. Came home and fixed lunch, and could not stop thinking about the man. Finally, I asked my husband to come with me for a ride, and on the way explained to him that my conscience would not rest until I checked out what this person’s situation was. J. was against bringing anyone to the house, which of course is very understandable. So I just parked the car and went to talk with the man, Steve. He does live in town, at a friend’s house but does not drive due to DUI conviction. He quit drinking because of it, he claims. J. wouldn’t believe it though, so I just gave him some cash and shook his hand, wishing good luck and God’s blessings upon him. I’ll check on Steve some other time… In the meanwhile, may the Lord watch over him.

Sunday night was wonderful at the Upper Room. Our praising and glorifying God must’ve reached up to the heavens, that’s how I felt… So very close to the Lord. Our singing took a life of it’s own, we were able to praise God freely and openly, our own individual ways. Brother S. served the communion, his comforting words touched my heart and brother J. gave us a message, strong and uplifting. Then the prayers, for whatever concerns we had. The evening was just a "blessed assurance" -such as a joyous cry; We are Your precious children Daddy! We love you Lord Jesus! We adore and we receive you Holy Spirit!

I’ve been hungering for God’s word all this week, spending hours on end studying the Bible during the long nights at work. I also have an increasing thirst for Holy Spirit, because I’ve tasted His presence more than ever before in my daily life. The gatherings and praise sessions have given my spirit so much strength that I am able to deal with the turmoil that some of my family members are experiencing at the present time. My husband is beginning to wonder whether it is a some kind of obsession that I’m going through… But rather, it’s my lifeline and refuge – I am very grateful that I’m allowed to spend time with my faith family, as we are knit with the tie that binds -Christian love and unity. I don’t blame my dear husband for showing signs of jealosy, he is entitled… He works hard as we both do, and I do take extra time away from the family. Last week we stayed and discussed things until 11:30 Friday night. I got home around midnight!!! John now works 6 days/week with extra sales etc, so the only time we have for each other and family is Sun morning. I try to sleep some before evening meetings too, so it does not amount to much. I slept only 3 1/2 hours on Monday, because I didn’t want to miss the first prayer meeting with brother L. and other friends.

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