Monday, November 10, 2008

Lesson #13 and is it a doozie!

1- Do you struggle with a sense of self-worth? How do you perceive this has affected the way you are able to 'keep your head upright'? If not, do you know someone who suffers in this area? I think the answer to this is yes! It helps me to keep my head upright because I know I am who God wants me to be and at any given minute I am where He wants me to be! For many years I went to college for what I thought was a career in Human Resources or Business, but that hasn't worked out and I remember someone once telling me that all the A's in the world isn't going to replace what I am trying to replace in my life. Looking back, they were right! I dropped out of high school very young and pregnant & my family has pretty much left me to fend on my own in any circumstance. Even when my son died as an infant, my dad didn't show up to the funeral. When I broke my leg severely a few years ago, my family didn't come to help me. Not for an hour, a day, a week & they knew I was on bed rest with 3 little children. Didn't matter. Instead, God placed wonderful neighbors and friends in my life who did take care of me, my dogs, my grandchildren in ways I couldn't have imagined! I now realize, that God loves me more than anyone can and ever will & He will always love me. Fat, thin, old, young, He doesn't care because I am who he wants me to be!

What are you most afraid of? Does this fear affect the way you move through life? (Ex. Are you overprotective with children? Afraid to take risks?) I am most afraid of loosing a way to help support my family or becoming so ill I can't help. Raising 3 grandchildren I worry that something will happen to myself or my husband before they are old enough to take care of themselves. No, it doesn't affect the way I move through life. I just accept Gods will and pray there will be someone to take care of them should anything happen to us. Okay, I am a bit over protective of the kids because we are their legal guardian and I feel if anything happened to them, the courts wouldn't be so happy, but usually, I don't give it a thought.

What is one of the most marvelous ways God has provided a need? I can't wait to hear your stories on this one! Wow! Which story? He provided me a sober husband when I couldn't take the drinking anymore. It took 6 months of separation, but my husband has been sober for over 10 years now. When I was in so much pain recently due to my Fibromyalgia, He has provided me with healing. I have been pain free for over 3 weeks now. Oh sure, I have an occasional twinge of pain from a bone spur, but the other stuff is gone. Oh, hallelujah!

Steve Brown, a Moody Broadcasting Bible Teacher, is one of the first people I ever heard teach the concept that God was not mad at me. I grew up in a denomination that led me to believe He was in a continuous state of disappointment over my failures. How about you? Though in your heart you know God says He loves you, does Satan in your mind ever try to convince you otherwise? Oh, he used to have me believe this, but once you read the Bible and know that He loved us so much to have His only Son die for our sins, WOW! I recently read the Shack, it is a great book which truly explains Gods love for us, though I know it is only a writers perception, I believe in so many ways, God loves us and knows we can't be perfect. If we were to be perfect, He would have never allowed any of us to have free will.

How close are you to your own Promised Land? Not at all, 1/2 way, almost there? By this I mean the place of abundant living and effectiveness here on earth, not the ultimate fulfillment in Glory! Though I hope you are going to heaven, I don't want it to be today! Now honestly, how would I know that? Abundant living? In today's times? When I lived in Arizona, I was living abundantly...eating out frequently, had money in the bank, shoes coming out my ears, new clothes, lots of things, but I worked 12 hours or more a day sometimes 6 days a week for all that 'STUFF.' Then I believe God wanted us to move to Aberdeen and while I have dumped most of that stuff, I would love to have my bills caught up again and have some type of emergency savings. What I do have now, more than anything, is my health! I am no longer stressed because I work as a substitute teacher which means home with the grandchildren when they are home. I have learned that happiness is a once in awhile trip to Olympia to go grocery shopping and I make that trip count. On the other hand, I am always busy making quilts for someone in need, volunteering when asked to volunteer and reaching out to others. My son is expecting his first child in March and he lost his job, has no money coming in and I can't help them at all. I am somewhere between Not at all & 1/2 way there, I think! On the other hand, we are living with less and actually trying to pay all of our bills off. God provides in odd ways when I least expect it...a neighbor bought the children really expensive pull overs from REI (we can't afford that), he brought them a microscope, he took all of us to dinner one night after taking us Kayaking. Another time, my granddaughter won a scholarship to science camp. God is so good!

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