Monday, February 8, 2016

What happened to January?

Hello Lovely Readers,

I did not mean to ignore you for the last half of January... I feel like I spent most of January settling into a new year and then without even realizing it half the month had gone by and I was spending most of my days in jury duty (the case is over now so I can, I just don't want to talk about it). Up until now while I have been called 4 times but this is my first time serving and my only knowledge of jury duty was 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda and Runaway Jury (both book and movie) and both these were far from the realities. My own personal take away is 1) I am surprised listening to a case for about 4 hours a day can be very mentally draining and 2) I am surprised at how (for the most part) we all agreed we wanted to give the plaintiff money but yet we still had very different feelings on it.

{Twelve Angry Men}
I didn't want you all to think I have forgotten about you because I haven't. Lately I have been feeling mentally stuck and it is leaking into a lot of aspects of my life. I don't really want to go into the reasons why I am stuck on social media and all that (sorry). One of the major aspects in my life that have been affected by this mental stuck-ness is my walk with God. I have spent pages and pages in my prayer journal moaning and complaining about what is going on. (God is probably getting sick of it).  Awhile ago my friend shared with me that she was reading verses on God's faithfulness and God's promises. Let me just say she is going through harder times than I am and she seemed way more positive and encouraged than I could be. So I thought reading passages on faith and faithfulness might help... I realize I need to have more faith in God that He will get me through this time and He is faithful towards me (even when I am not always faithful to Him). I have a Life Application Bible which a nice topical index in the back and it has little notes that help the reader understand how to apply it their lives (I call them cliff notes)... so I have been going through passages that talk about faith.

Through this study I came across a passage in 2 Kings 7 that had a cliff note that said- "Sometimes we become so preoccupied with the problems when we should be looking for opportunities. Instead of focusing on the negatives, develop an attitude of expectancy. To say that God cannot rescue someone or that a situation is impossible demonstrates lack of faith."*

I am still no sure what it means to "develop an attitude of expectancy" if you do please give me some guidance. However, the next night  I wrote in my prayers... Lord you have blessed my life so much. Lord I have a job, I have a warm apartment, I have my volunteer work, I have Reunion (my church), and my family. Lord I am so thankful for all the blessings I have. Lord you have provided for me this much and I know you will continue to provide for me. Lord help me to change my attitude to focus on your goodness and await with expectation. Lord I know you are are going to do something amazing. Lord you have done something amazing, you sent your son to this earth, you created this earth, you created me and you call me child and beloved. You gave up your life so I may have eternal life in you, Lord only you who are truly perfect could save the world. Oh Lord my God you are master and creator, you are hope beyond hope. You are abundant in love and mercy. Your grace and love know no bounds. Your timing, your will, and plans are perfect.

Lord I do pray for your help. Oh Lord, for I know I can spout these words and I know I can really want to mean to mean them but I feel my so little reflects that. I feel I keep burying myself in negatives and sorrow. Oh my Lord my God, forgive me for my doubts, forgive me for my lack of faith. Lord I am weak and I stumble. Lord I so desperately want to live in your glory and to succeed in following you but it is to do that. I feel loss and sometimes hopeless. I question oh Lord my purpose and my reason for being here. My mind and focus are lost. Lord help me to cling to you or I know you have a plan and purpose for my life. Lord, I am sorry I dwell so much in negativity when you oh God are so wonderful. 

I know in one little prayer I do not have this all down. Staying negative is easy because it puts no effort into trying to find the good in the situation and it allows me to focus on myself. At my church we had a message on generosity (not just with our money) and the more I talked about the more I realized generosity comes from a place of gratefulness. How grateful can I be if I just sink in negative thinking? And if I can't be grateful for what I have, how can I demonstrate God's hope and security that I know He gives to me? So I am trying. I am trying to change my mindset and know that God is in control and that He has great plans for me and look forward to what is coming.

As I was writing this post a short song came on my shuffle with the lyrics -"Hope means holding on to you, Grace means you're hold me too," I thought this was applicable for this topic so I wanted to share it with you...
Song: Painted Red
By: JJ Heller

I don't really have a conclusion for this post...just I want to keep trying.

*- Life Application Study Bible: New International Version, Zondervan, 1991. 

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