Friday, December 25, 2009

Frustration due to Expectations

Christmas Eve, I heard a more detailed telling of the Biblical Christmas story. It gave me a different perspective to be reminded that Mary traveled more than likely in labor - at least part of the way. She was on a donkey and going a long distance. She didn't know what to expect when she got there. When she arrived, the town was very busy and she needed to have a place to have the baby boy she was promised.

What kind of expectations affected Mary and Joseph's relationship? Mary didn't expect to be visited by an angel. Joseph expected a virgin. Mary expected to be married awhile before having a baby. Mary didn't expect to have to have people judge her for being pregnant before she was married. Mary didn't expect to have a baby in a barn (with all THAT entails!). She had been promised a King. What kind of King is born in a barn?

Luke 2:4-7 (NIV) 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

If she had time, it would have been easy for Mary to be frustrated during this whole process. Her life as she knew it was turned upside down.

I was reminded about how many times my frustration level is extremely low. Somebody going to slow in front of me? I have to wait? I was here first, why is that person going before me? You want me to do what?

How many times are we frustrated due to our expectations of what we want to happen? Mary changed and/or rearranged her expectations. This is a good reminder for us as well.

Romans 8:18-21 (NIV) 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Merry Christmas! Maybe lowering our expectations of ourselves and others will help us lower our frustration and be a gift in itself!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Letter to Senators - Do not be silent

I usually try to avoid politics at all cost. However, I am very concerned with the issue of health care reform and the way that it is being handled....or mis-handled. Politics are coming into play as the Senate vote is to be held later this AM.....Christmas Eve.....when they all want to go home to their families....or already have (which if one did? Their state better come down hard on him/her)....and usually would have been on "recess" a few weeks ago. Their hearts MAY be in the right place, but they are trying to do TOO much in one bill. And why do they need closed sessions?

I attempted to look up info of the vote, etc. and what the ending wording is. HOW CONFUSING! I was looking at info here: I also went to MI's senator sites briefly to write them the following:

I believe that forcing a vote on health care before the holidays so you can all go home is not acting in our best interest.

I have attempted to look at the bill (and all the amendments, etc) and it is impossible to follow. How do you even know what you're voting on?

Will the congress and federal employees be expected to participate in any plan included in this bill?

I hope you take the concerns of voters in general, especially those in your state, before voting on this bill. I would also expect that no finalized bill includes taxpayer funding for abortion in any way, including a public fund.

Thank you for your efforts in representing our state.

I also looked a little bit at Ms. Stabenow's site. I found the wording interesting, especially the tag line: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Saves Lives, Saves Money, Saves Medicare Isn't Medicare government run?

My main point is whatever your feeling/take on the issue? Make your voice heard so congress knows we're out here and watching.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 (Message) Simple Faith and Plain Truth

1-3The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The B.I.B.L.E. Instructions

Exodus 16:28 (NLT) The Lord asked Moses, “How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions?

Tonight, I was programming a cell phone (which is about as difficult...and as much programming VCRs, etc). I was sitting at the table and putting in phone numbers. I made a mistake and could not figure out how to delete the number. The first few times I hit delete the contact and started over. Finally, I was getting frustrated.

Then, I glanced up and there sat the instruction book. I am usually the first one to try and read instructions if I can't figure it out within a reasonable time. Tonight it didn't even cross my mind until I saw it right in front of me.

It really was something very simple to correct. Just needed to hit the correct button to backspace. I wasted time, however, trying to figure the phone out without reviewing the instructions first.

I got to thinking how much this is like the Bible. God's instructions to written form....usually not to far away from any seat in the house. How many times have I floundered in a situation when part of the answer is right at my fingertips? I already know the answer. More than necessary and more then I would like.

I once heard the Bible referred to as Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. How much easier life would be if I remember THAT first instead of much later when I've made more mistakes and wasted more time than I can count.

So, where's your instruction manual? Find your Bible, ask God for guidance for what and where He wants you to read. Those instructions are timeless.

John 1:1-3 (NLT)1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Procrastination to Destination

Procrastination, putting it what you want, I am the princess of it. I joke about it, but right now it's not hitting me in a ha ha funny way. I can try and say that it is because I work better "under pressure", but in reality it is just stalling.

I looked up the definition of procrastination at to put off intentionally and habitually; to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done.

Both of these fit, however, I am noticing 2 things....intentionally (doing it on purpose) and habitually (a habit can be broken!).

I do know this: I can easily go help someone else with the very thing that I avoid in my own life. I also know that procrastination has cost me over the years in both $$ and wasted time. Some days are better than others. On the bad days, I'm letting procrastination keep me from where I need to be.

John 6:20-21 (NLT) 20 but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” 21 Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

I find it interesting that this takes place while Jesus is walking on water. The disciples invited him into the boat and then they got to where they were going....their destination.

The way to get to any destination is to start with one step and keep going. Inviting God into our mess that He already knows about one step.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's Only.....One and Only

I like bargains....clearance sales, garage sales, thrift stores, etc. However, not enough to get in lines on Black Friday.....or even browse online for Cyber Monday. I like to find things that I think would brighten somebody's day. I have a hard time passing on a good deal....even if money gets tight. I can hear myself in my head start to reason....."it's only" x amount of dollars. But, even small amounts add up. I have had to stop and think before just putting items in the cart.

I've been dealing with some other "it's only" too. I've found myself watching TV shows or movies with swear words. I hear my family members, their friends and myself, slip up and let the words fly. At first, I'm rather disappointed. The more I hear it though? The more I tune it out. It doesn't seem as big a deal...."it's only" a couple of words.

I find myself doing pointless stuff to avoid doing the necessary stuff. Procrastination? YES! But, "it's only" a few minutes. However, the few minutes slip into 1/2 hours and hours of time that I won't get back and I pretty much wasted.....and sleep, still a battle for me to make myself go to bed.

I want to change my focus from "it's only" to THE One and Only as referred to in the verse below:

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

I want to dedicate my money, voice, time, efforts, and life to Someone greater than the things of this world. Don't ever think "it's only" or I'm only (fill-in-the-blank) about yourself. God has made you in His image to be the "one and only" you.