Got Direction?

photo (23)Does anyone else have a pile of book on or around their nightstand?  Mine is getting to the point of ridiculous.

Not only that but there are books on the chest at the foot of my bed, stacked in bookshelves throughout my house, and in various bags I carry around in the off chance I’ll have a moment to read.

I joke that my house is combustible.

The other day I had a moment to pick up a book, but I couldn’t figure out which one I should read…

The book to help me discern how best to raise my sons to be godly young men?

The book about helping my teenage daughter makes good and healthy decisions?

The book about learning issues for my 1st grade daughter?

The book about parenting strong-willed children for my youngest daughter?

The book about dealing with emotions for me?

The book about believing God’s word in an age of skepticism for my brain?

The books about trust or grace or peace or hope or relationships?

Or the mystery novel hidden beneath them all just waiting to be enjoyed?

I can’t even say I have a preference at this moment.  I just want to have read them all so I can already know what I need to do!

A few months ago I decided that I didn’t want to read another parenting book…ever.  And yet I have a stack of books on my nightstand that in one way or another could be considered parenting books.

I guess I just gotta admit it…I want answers.  I’m searching for direction.  I need help!!  photo 1 (2)

Right now everything is up in the air.  Literally everything.  I have no idea where God is going to lead me…how my kids are going to be educated….what I’m going to be doing…where we will be living…

It seems that all my perfect scenarios are on hold…everything is in someone else’s hands  And it would be easy for me to think that that someone else is the administrator or principal at a school, or the potential buyer of my house, or a book publisher, or any number of people in my life…

But the reality is…the REALITY is that Someone else’s hand is in control.  God’s.

And I am at once thankful for the realization and also struggling to rest in that knowledge.  It seems that God has not often done things the way I would have liked…or in the way I think would be best for us.  And I get all twisted up in knots because I want so desperately for things to go one way and I have a feeling that isn’t the way they are going to go.

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I keep having to remind myself that I TRUST GOD!  Because I do.  I do trust Him. I know I can trust Him…and I know He is going to handle all this stuff in the perfect way.  It’s just so much stuff and it is so difficult to give up control of all of it.  And yet, I don’t really want to be in charge…I hate making decisions.  I just want God to show me what to do and I’ll do it.

I think my problem is with His timing.  It seems to take Him forever to show me.  I joke that He usually reveals it to me in the 11th hour and 59th minute.  Apparently the Lord REALLY wants me to trust Him.

So I’m excited to see how my life is going to come together. I’m so very curious about where God is going to have us this fall.  I’m intrigued by how He is going to address the issues…resolve the difficulties…meet me in the struggles.

I know that He will.   He always has before.  Right now though, I just want an update.  I just want Him to reveal something…a glimpse of the plan.  But I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

I’m learning to live these verses:

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!  Psalm 37:5-7

Have you not know?  Have you not heard?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31

I see a theme of patience.  Ugh.

Just to be honest, I have NOT prayed for patience.  (I know better. 🙂 )

Patience is not one of my virtues.  I know I have the Holy Spirit so I have that fruit in my life.  I just don’t often take bites of it.  I’m probably more likely to wing that piece of fruit at a problem rather than apply it gently.

But I believe that God is asking me to trust patiently.  And even though I know I can absolutely trust my Father…I gotta be honest that I want answers now…in fact, I wanted answers yesterday, last week, long before now.  I’ve got things to do, decisions to make, and places to go (or not go)…I need direction.

I keep thinking I’ll find it somewhere, but unfortunately I don’t believe any of the massive number of books I own are going to tell me what to do or exactly what God is going to do. photo 3 (2) I can read them though and many will remind me of how great is my God and how worthy of my trust He is!

I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, God has a plan, it’s already in motion, and it is good!

Maybe I won’t worry about which book on my nightstand I’ll read, but rather I’ll pick up my Bible.  I’ll remind myself of my great God who has orchestrated amazing things throughout history and who will beautifully orchestrate my life and the lives of my children.  I just need to BE STILL and BE QUIET and BE READY!

Looking for Peace in all the Wrong Places

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I believe I’m carrying burdens I wasn’t meant to, but I don’t know how to let them go.

People are always advising me to just trust God and let go of the worry.  I’m trying to…I truly am.

I know I can trust God.

I think I can let go of the worry.

But somewhere in all that trust and letting go, I’ve got decisions to make.

And decisions stress me out so much…soooo much.

I really struggle with the whole process.

Especially the 2nd guessing part of the process – which is definitely a part of my processing process.

When my husband left and I became a single parent, one of the first things I really really found challenging was all the decisions I had to make.

I’m not good at decisions.

I have a very clear memory of a conversation with God during my first year of single parenting, “Lord, really?  (all my prayers seemed to start with that phrase) I felt like I finally understood the whole submission thing…the whole let my husband lead thing…and now I’m the leader of the family?  Honestly God, I prefer the helpmate role much better.”

God reminded me that He would equip me for whatever He called me to and apparently He had called me to single parenting.

Ugh.

I was and still am up to the challenge…but I don’t like the challenge.

For me the biggest part of this challenge is that my thought processes truly are like mental spaghetti.

Everything gets all tangled up together in my head.  I mean I just don’t know what to do…everything impacts everything else, at least in my head.  And every decision has a thousand repercussions – and each child is impacted differently by each decisions…some for the better, some not.  And every decision makes me bonkers…and even after I finally make a decisions, I second-guess like a crazy woman.

I want to make decisions and find peace. But is decision-making just about being at peace?

Peace.  Oh how I want peace all the time.

A friend recently shared that maybe I need to not worry about making the right decisions and instead make decisions with the purpose of doing something to glorify God…doing something for God.

That thought has rocked my world.

I’m still pondering but I thought I’d share because maybe you’ll share your thoughts with me.

I have to trust that God is going to work in all my decisions.  When my oldest was choosing a college I told him that it didn’t matter where he went because God would use him wherever he was.  As long as he didn’t go to The Cult College (which doesn’t exist to my knowledge) he should be just fine.

I think that’s true.  If my desire is to honor God wherever I am, does it matter where I go?  Or what I choose to do? As long as whatever I do or wherever I go honor God and His word.

This reminds me of Jeremiah 29:4-7

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:  Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.  Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.  But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

The Israelites were in captivity when God said this to them.  They were absolutely NOT in the perfect situation by any stretch of the imagination.  Except…except that it was where God had them and where God told them to make lives!  They weren’t to wait for perfect.

I think I’m looking for the perfect situation and it just doesn’t exist.  That is the stress in my decisions.  I’m assuming that there is a perfect situation, a best answer.  I’m forgetting that we live on this planet…which is decidedly not perfect.  I will not find perfection.

I just have to make decisions based on the God’s guidance in His word, a lot of prayer, the facts I have, the best things I know how to do, and godly counsel.  But sometimes the Word of God doesn’t exactly address my situation.

Like right now the biggest decision I need to make isn’t covered by Scripture.  So what do I do?  Pray, seek counsel, make an informed decision, and trust God!

I almost put the word “just” before that last sentence.  I know I’ve used it already in this post, but “just” seems like a word that signifies something easy and the whole decision-making process is not at all easy!  At least not for me.

But I’m pretty sure I’ve established that point already!

I guess what God is showing me is that the burden I’m carrying is to provide the perfect scenario for all my children, to choose the perfect employment situation for me and the perfect education situation for my children, to give my children the perfect opportunities, the perfect home, and the perfect single parent family I can.  But I can’t make things perfect – never have been, never will be.

And my decisions don’t have the power to provide perfection.

My decisions can honor God though.

My decisions can glorify Him.

My decisions can bless us.

I’m going to try to develop a whole new way of approaching decisions.  There is a lot of stress I can leave behind when I realize there isn’t going to be a perfect answer, and there might not even be a best answer.

Unless the questions is, “How and where do I want to glorify God?”

And that question isn’t a burden at all.  The answer is however I can and wherever I am.

So I will plan and dream and pray, and I will let God lead the way.

 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21