Well, our church started a Ladies Bible Study tonight, and me being a reflective person had lots of thoughts and am going to try and share them coherently. The problem I have lots of different thoughts flying around on different airplanes. But, here goes
The study is going to be structured from a book called Becoming a Titus 2 Woman by Martha Peace. The first lesson was about priorities. "What is our priority?--what consumes our time?" This sparked quite a discussion on balancing what consumes our time, even while we desire God to be our priority. Now, what some of us were saying in our own unique ways, is that it is possible for God to be a priority even through these earthly activities that take our time. I mentioned how I wish to be more disciplined by spending just a little thought and prayer on God in the mornings before I start the teaching day because I bet things would go a little bit easier. Other ladies shared their thoughts and experiences.
One lady shared her struggle about not wanting to do a structured Bible study after being raised in the church where it is constantly taught that we MUST have daily Bible reading and we must do these disciplines and those disciplines--she wanted us to let go of the guilt when we don't meet up to these standards that become very ingrained in us. We shouldn't feel guilty--it's all taken care of on the cross--and is it really a sin to have a grudging attitude? or to make someone else's life miserable as a result of said attitude?
I realize now she wasn't trying to preach a method of not structure, but not feeling guilt at the lack of structure as we might be communing with God in other things we do. I agreed with her in part, having gone through my own discovering in college that the spiritual disciplines are NOT the same for everyone. (One of the best books that helped me really understand this was Sacred Pathways--in addition to Paul's letters and understanding more about individual Christianity through those.) and while I agree that one should not feel guilty and concentrate time dwelling on this guilt, I don't think it's wrong to want that time and wish we could spend that time with God reading his Word in the day. I should let go of the guilty feeling, but I'm kind of driven by the guilty feeling in me to make things better. I want to spend time with God in meditation and prayer and reading his word and learning it because I know how much more "in tune" I seem to be with Him, and thus, how much more I see Him using me throughout my earthly life.
We also discussed a comment Peace made in her book about how before she was Christian, she strove for excellence in her nursing career as part of her feminist philosophy--but never really found her happiness in the success. One of the ladies was bothered by how Peace--to her reading--seemed to think striving for excellence was wrong. Others in the Bible study read it a bit differently. I myself connected with the comment in terms of --I strive for excellence in what I do, but I worry that I'm not striving for God's glory but rather my own. Again the discussion went to "let go of that worry" and "just be" (my wording).
I get what they're saying. But I still am concerned with the motives of my heart in my earthly activities. I guess the point they're trying to get across is "don't worry about that. don't feel guilty because God is working in your heart and he took care of everything on the Cross"
This is some different insight than I'm used too, so all comments are always welcome. This actually helped me understand things a bit better.
Now finally, I want to dedicated some verses to a couple of wonderful gals I know--Sunny, Ashley, Amanda, ... to list the ones that come immediately to my mind:
That was actually read in The Message tonight, and I have to say, that has a good summary too--relating more about how the flowers grow and don't worry about their appearance and the birds just go about their business without worry about the future.--They do what God created them to do. They follow his plan of nature without worry or guilt.
You'd think that I'd post more since I'm on summer vacation and I have all this free time :-)
Boy is time flying. I cna't believe that in one week we're packing up and headed to Colorado for Josh's first Lake City 4th of July, and more importantly, time with my family. I know they're excited we're coming because my parents sent us a check to help pay for gas. Every little bit helps :-)
So summer so far:
I went to the doctor first monday of June, the one in Houston who deals with my pacemaker. Things are looking god and in his brief $5 a min for 5 min chat he says "there is nothing bad to tell you". The medtronic tech who reads the info and tests the pacemaker told me that the wire in the lower part of my heart is pacing about 90 or 99% of the time. I was rather surprised. To me, this says that it's a good thing because it's only supposed to pace when needed...so if my heart is needing the help that much....
The other wire, in the upper part of the heart only paces about 9%. but the diagnosed problem was that the electrical signal was getting lost on it's way to through the bottom part of my heart where it tells the heart to beat. So, all is well. It really has been a blessing this year. When I've had stress, (and boy did the school year bring that...) and during times of being sick, I really noticed a difference in how I would feel.
Summer school has been in session for 3 weeks and has one more week to go. It's awesome because it's just so easy. I'm getting paid more per hour than i do during the school year, for less work! I go in 4 mornings a week and have 2 1.5 hour sessions of 10 or less students in each. I go over the material using the computer program and then we go to the compute rlab where they do their assignments on teh computer. It's been a great way to get a feel for how I can use the program in my classes next year. It's also been great NOT TO GRADE!!!!! and even while these are the students that are in summer school because they just weren't doing much during the school year, things have been pretty calm and some of them seem anxious to make up for a bit of not learning.
I've slowly been getting things done in the rest of my life (drat it, i still need to call and set up dental/eye/vaccine appointments....) Tires checked and car registration renewed; cleaning up around the apartment and doing more cooking in my quest to eat healthier and thus lose wait. I've quit drinking soda and I'm trying to replace carbs whenever I can with veggies. I've just started a trial week at Curves and after one session and seeing how much it's going to cost, I'm going to go for it because it's amazing how much I feel worked out in 30 min all over my body! and it really is as much fun as they say. Speaking of which, it's time for me to go back.
So things are going well here. Please continue to keep Squeeze and Dr. C. in your prayers as they go through their medical journeys. Both have sites at caringbridge.com Squeeze is under "Ryan Johnson" and Dr Coppinger under "Dr. C." I think most of you who know them have already found the sites though.
For those of you who remember Squeeze, a.k.a. Ryan Johnson, he was in a work related accident where a large metal disk hit him in the face about a week and a half ago I guess. Keep his family and girlfriend in prayers.
Here's the site that the family has to post updates. Squeeze is definitely a fighter and seems to be a miracle in progress as things go on.