Right now I’m chatting on MSN messenger, trying out this new blog editor, Windows Live Writer, and NOT doing the work I said I was going to do for my day job. I’m really swamped right now at work and have been trying to put in an hour of work every night to try to catch up (being sick a couple weeks back put me further behind than I already was).
I am so unmotivated right now. Maybe I’ll post a photo with my new blog editor…
Every Christmas, I create a calendar for members of my family with pictures of our family. I’ll create little icons for people’s birthdays, the first day of spring, etc. It’s a lot of work and its a lot of fun. Here is the Tebay family calendar for 2008 (the pictures, anyway):
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” — Angela Schwindt
This is my new blog.Â Â I’m continuing my journey over here.Â I wasn’t sure ifÂ ‘worship warrior’ really described where I’m at on my journey, so going with the meaning of my name seemed a logical choice.Â That’s one thing that will not change.Â And I’m definitely on a path of learning more and more the meaning of grace – thus, the tagline “dancing with my Father God in fields of grace”Â (taken from a song by Darrell Evans).
This past weekend, my hubby moved in the remainder of his stuff (his old roommate next door was moving out, so the last remnants had to be moved over). It’s been hard work making room for all his stuff. On Sunday, it had finally gotten to me; I was a bit cranky, to say the least. I’m taking the night off and my wonderful husband cleared the supper table and is putting the kids to bed so I can soak in the tub. Awesome!
I know I’ve posted about my drive to prove myself. Today I was reminded of how I really don’t know how to take breaks. And not a few minutes of inactivity when I’m planning in my mind how I’m going to do whatever I feel I need to do when my ‘break’ is over – that’s not rest. But I think I’ve tricked myself into thinking that it IS rest. I’ve been working every weekend since we got back from our honeymoon to try to clear out old things and make space for the new things. I’ve been so driven to try to bring order to the chaos of having someone move all their possessions into the home I’ve been living in for the past 6 years that I haven’t stopped to rest. And finally I snapped. Overwhelming feelings of frustration and grumpiness took over. Why? Because I don’t take enough time to put the perceived load down and just rest, not think about it, and enjoy the moment. I’ll always have things to do, but I need to learn how to not let them consume my life, so I’m able to enjoy the moments given to me.
I spent the day with my kids. Leighton wasn’t around as he had to work. I had a lot of fun! Just me and the boys. The morning was pretty relaxed and then we went to the pool in the afternoon. The evening ended off with me crushing David in Starcraft. I love my kids. The other day David and Leighton were making the point that often I’m so focused on planning for the next day that I don’t stop and enjoy what I have right now. As I was spending time with God this morning, He told me to enjoy my kids today. And I did. It was great!
Everyone has issues – issues with trust, issues with fear, issues with being vulnerable, the list goes on. I have issues. I have pride. I want to be ‘right’. I don’t like to lose. Some people seem to stay ‘stuck’ in their issues and are never able to move past them. I’m talking about believers in Christ, not unbelievers. What keeps people ‘stuck’ where they are? Why do I seem to stay ‘stuck’? I get so frustrated when this happens. I’d rather be able to just deal with something and then move on (did I mention I have issues with being patient?). It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Why don’t I see more of that?
I think one of the factors involved is how people handle their issues. Do I muster up all my defenses or do I allow myself to be broken? Being broken isn’t fun. I’ve been there. Being broken means I might have to humble myself to other people, maybe people I’m not even sure care about me. I might have to admit that I’m wrong or at least honestly see the other side of the story. My natural tendancy is to fight rather than be humbled. But I know that true life, the abundant life that Jesus talked about, only comes through brokenness. Because out of brokenness comes freedom. I’ve been feeling a growing frustration lately because I desire to be used by God to touch people’s lives, and yet I don’t feel like that’s happening at all. I wonder tonight whether it’s because I’m not broken; I’m too proud. My heart cries out to be in a place where my only source is God my Savior. Take me there, God. When it comes down to it, I’d rather be broken.
It hasn’t been overly busy lately, but I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to get back into some of my old routines (before wedding planning and other things took over). Things like walking on my treadmill (I’m in the process of watching ‘Good Will Hunting’), getting back into a routine with my kids, etc. It’s not the exact same routine – it’s so awesome to have a husband who will start supper if he gets home before you, help put the kids to bed, load the dishwasher. I am truly thankful for these things because I know so well what it’s like to have to do it all myself.
I’m also trying to make more space for the ‘invasion’. Leighton is still moving stuff over from next door (the last roommate doesn’t move out until sometime in September). I spent all of last Saturday dealing with my storage room. We had moved all the kids’ toys over there so the old toyroom could become the ‘man-cave’ (a guy needs his personal space). I removed 5 garbage bags of toys and stuffed animals. I let the kids go through the bags once I was finished the elimination process to see if there were things they wanted to keep. I was anticipating the “it’s all special to me!” thing and ending up keeping half the toys I had packed away, but the boys were surprisingly good about it – they only took less than one armful each. I was really impressed. Tomorrow I’m tackling the boys bedrooms – we still have a dresser and desk to move over. We plan on putting the desk in my oldest boy’s room and moving his smaller desk into his little brother’s room. Wish me luck (I can’t see the floor in my oldest son’s room).
I don’t like to appear ‘weak’. I highly value strength and self-sufficiency. Even though being a single parent wasn’t easy, I take pride in the fact that I was able to provide for my family and manage my household for the last 3 1/2 years. It’s very difficult for me to admit when I am in need or to ask or receive help. This comes from a drive to prove myself. I’m just beginning to realize that this need to prove myself runs very deep. It’s so deep, that often I only realize after the fact that what I just did was to prove myself. What am I trying to prove? I’m not even exactly sure. It probably has to do with needing to prove that I am ‘good enough’. I think it’s going to take a while for the Lord to bring all of what’s behind this to the surface; I feel like the process has just begin. I know I certainly do not want to continue operating like this.
In my journey over the past few years, I realized how incredibly needy I had been emotionally towards my late husband. It was not a healthy form of neediness. I don’t want to go back there again and so I am paranoid that if I appear needy to my husband, I will fall back into my old ways. That’s another reason why it’s hard for me to admit my need.
I do believe something very strongly, though. I do not ‘need’ man to take care of me or fix my problems. I need God! He is the One who has promised to supply ALL my needs (not man). Think about all the widows and single parents out there. Are they any less cared for because they do not have a husband? Although everyone’s circumstances are going to be different, I don’t believe that God gives them any less just because they are not married. HE is our sufficiency. But in my case, God has given my husband to me as a gift. That’s how God wants to take care of some of my needs. I just need to accept that and give myself permission to be weak to my husband because that’s one of the reasons God has given him to me.
Thought I would post something. I love being married…again. It’s very different from my first marriage – I’m older, wiser, better circumstances. It’s awesome! My husband is amazing!!! He’s so supportive and encouraging. It’s kind of hard to deal with sometimes, because of my staunch independence – I don’t want to appear ‘weak’, like I would NEED someone; I’ve done this for 3 years on my own. Is it a sign of weakness to ‘need’ someone? It’s going to be something I think I’ll be dealing with for a while.
Feeling tired after my first day back to work (had to wake up 2 hours earlier than I have been on my holidays – urgh!). Read a good book on my honeymoon about ‘explosive’ children. It was good, learned a lot about my own parenting strategies. But also discouraging at times as I see myself slip back into my old, less productive parenting patterns.
Well, I’m back. I guess it’s time to face the ‘real’ world. I had an awesome honeymoon! Relaxing, and lots of fun. The wedding day was great, too. Some friends who have flickr accounts have pooled their photos of the wedding here (you can also click on the title of this post to get to the site).
I’m getting married. Only a few more hours of being Carol Fisher, soon to be Carol Tebay. Here we go!
2 days to go until the wedding. Yay! I’ve completed all my work-work and now have 2 weeks of holidays. I’m so glad to have the time off. Now it’s just to the last minute details, which after reviewing a checklist one of my bridesmaids sent me, doesn’t look to be too bad. Doesn’t look like I’ve missed much.
I’m excited. The day is almost here. And it’s forcasted to be sunny, which is a good thing because the reception’s happening outside. I’m feeling so very happy. I was talking to a co-worker yesterday and telling her I am totally a ‘fairy tale’ kind of person. I love to hear real-life stories that are like fairy tales. And I feel like my story is like a fairy tale, too. I love happy endings! Even though this is the beginning of something new, it is a happy ending to the journey I’ve been on for the past 3 1/2 years. Thank you to all the friends who have supported me along the way. I’m looking forward to celebrating with you on Monday!
Monday it finally hit – excitement over the wedding. Up until Sunday night, my mind was still filled with all the tasks to be completed before August 1. But some great friends surprised Leighton and I with an impromptu pre-wedding party and the excitement started to build. Monday morning came and I started feeling really excited. In less than a week, I’m going to be married! Wow!
Last night my bridesmaids held an ‘impractical’ bridal shower for me and it was great! I got lots of impractical – ‘pamper me’ stuff which I love but never spend money on. We talked a little bit about the journey I’ve been on for the past 3 1/2 years. And what a journey it has been. There were many days when I doubted that I would ever have a ‘happy ending’ but deep down in my heart I never stopped believing that God had a blessing for me in all this. Granted, there have been many blessings along the way, but I was desiring something greater than what I could imagine. Just like it says in Ephesians: “Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21). And God has given me more than I could imagine. As I’ve gotten to know Leighton, I’ve realized the depth of the blessing God has given me in him. I’m so happy to be marrying him!
Tonight after the kids went to bed, I started watching TV on the couch and fell asleep until 11:30 pm. Must have needed the sleep.
With just over a week to the wedding, it feels like there’s too much to do, too little time, but I know it’ll all get done. The thing that is weighing most heavily on me is my workload at work. I want to get everything caught up by next Friday so I won’t be overwhelmed by stuff when I get back after my 2 weeks of vacation. I think I’m most stressed about that. Cause I just don’t know how I’m going to get it all done. Today was not fun. It started off ok, with great hopes of getting a lot accomplished, but then there were a number of things I had to deal with all at the same time and I never got all that I wanted to get done, done. If I didn’t have that stuff hanging over my head, I think I’d be ok.
Oops, I forgot I’m not supposed to be thinking about work this weekend – nothing I can do about it now, so worrying about it is not going to help.
Anyways, I am really looking forward to a break. Going away. Relaxing. Time for me. No children asking for this or arguing about that (yes, my kids are covered, so I will be getting a honeymoon – yay!). I’m sooo looking forward to that.
Luke 5:16 (NLT)
I ‘withdrew to the wilderness’ this morning and it was so amazing. I was out of town, sitting on a hilltop, overlooking the prairie and grain fields. Being away from the city, in the midst of nature, of God’s creation, is often where I feel closest to God and where I can hear Him most clearly. I love being there! Just me and God and the birds and the wind.
So, for those of us city dwellers, how can we withdraw to the wilderness? It’s not that I don’t want to be there, but where can we find the ‘wilderness’ where all is still and we can talk with God in the midst of the chaos of our lives? If anyone has any ideas, I’d like to know.
I enjoy debate. I always have. In high school, I was constantly questioning my youth leaders about why we believed the things we did. Just ask him; he grew up with me. Why was I questioning? Because I honestly wanted to know the Truth. It was not good enough for me to have someone tell me what to believe. I wanted to seek it out and know it for myself.
After college, that same kind of hunger for the Truth lay dormant for several years. I had become part of a group that exposed me to things I’d never heard of before. It was illuminating, freeing, healing. But I started to accept what these people were telling me and stopped testing it and knowing it for myself. It’s not that it’s wrong to accept other people’s teachings, but if I am not testing it for myself, there is the danger that I could fall into heresy. Tell me something, throw a couple of Bible verses at it, sounds reasonable to me, so let’s follow that. But is that good enough? The Bible warns of false teachers (Matthew 24:11,24-25, Acts 20:29-30, 2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1).
How can I be sure that what I am following is true or false? I believe the individual’s personal relationship with God and their relationship with a group of believers provide a good balance for testing and knowing the Truth. Be in relationship with a community of believers where there is freedom to dialogue and discuss topics. Everyone comes at God’s word from a different perspective and different life experiences. There is a richness and depth when a person studies the Word and grapples with issues in the context of a group. But people need to make sure they are testing things for themselves and not simply following the group. Our Christian walk is still a personal walk with the Lord and we need to allow Him to direct our lives first.
Over this past year, I have undergone a re-awakening of my old hunger to know the Truth for myself. I am finding it so refreshing to grapple with topics in my own study and in conversation with others. So many people have so many different perspectives. There is no one right or wrong point of view. I used to live in a ‘bubble’, where my perspective was viewed through one lens. Now I’m looking through various lenses and seeing the strengths and weaknesses in each. Lord, let me never get stuck in the rut where I am open to only one point of view!
That’s why I love debate. A person is exposed to all sorts of ways of looking at things. They need to be open to points of view different from their own and test what it is they truly believe. It makes people think.
Sometimes, however, there can be some interesting reactions to a person who is searching. They can be seen as one who is “doing what is right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25), or a person who is rebellious, or has been led astray, or is complaining against leadership. But if a person is honestly seeking, I don’t think any of these statements apply. How often have I used blanket statements like these to describe someone I didn’t really know when they challenged my point of view? I’ve done this in the past and I know that it’s wrong. What right do I have to potentially falsely accuse my brothers or sisters in Christ like that? That’s not my job. I wonder how many of us have done this without even realizing that we were doing it.
Rather than viewing questioning as a negative thing, we should welcome it. Honest, sincere debate is healthy and can greatly benefit the body of Christ.
I’m feeling out of sorts right now. Misunderstandings, mind games, breakdown in communication – it all bugs me. I hate it when it happens. I spend my time trying to figure out why I reacted the way I did or why the other person reacted the way they did – sometimes (perhaps most times) I overanalyse way too much. I want to learn from my experiences, but there is also this side of me that wants to put up walls in an attempt to protect myself. I hate that side of me. I don’t want to go there. Human nature sucks sometimes! When can I be free of this sinful nature that tries to save itself when the only way I can be saved is for that nature to die?
I’m too inward focused right now. Gotta get back to God. Why is it so hard sometimes? I love Him, but I’ve lost my way. Why do I feel like I am drowning in all the responsibilities of this life? Where is the simple love and delight in His presence?
It is so hard when the dreams I cling to are exposed. I’d like to think I’ve got everything submitted to God (all the important stuff anyway), but I don’t. I have imagined things would happen in a certain way and when faced with the reality that they may or may not happen, I feel torn apart inside. I so badly want to see those dreams come true. Surrendering my wants and desires to God IS death! It hurts; it tears me up inside. I don’t want to let go of those dreams. I don’t want to come to grips with the fact that I might not get what I want. I don’t want to trust God that even though my dreams might not happen the way I planned them, He still has good things planned for me and that everything will be OK. Part of me doesn’t want to believe that because I still want what I want. It is so hard…letting go.
I read this in an article a friend emailed to me. It definitely rings true with the cry of my heart.
“Worship is about a cry of the heart, not a slick production. Worship is about me coming to God and pouring out my guts, it’s not about having the latest sound or a hot new song. Worship is about receiving forgiveness and healing when I confess my sin and weakness. Worship isn’t about sophistication, it’s about honestyâ€”taking off our spiritual disguises and letting God get under our layers of self-protection. I find that the Holy Spirit doesn’t respond to the polished outer presentation, but the hungry heart.”
– by Andy Park, “Simple Worship is All We Really Need: A Word to Worship Leaders”
Visit www.andypark.ca/articles.shtml for more information
…I’ll be getting married. Wow!
“…we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine…” Ephesians 4:14 (NASB)
A few weeks ago, a group of us took a look at Ephesians 4. We were studying how the body of Christ functions; what it looks like in the passage. When we came across verse 14, the phrase “carried about by every wind of doctrine” really stuck with me and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
What is a “wind of doctrine”? I started thinking about charismatic circles in particular. It appears that they are constantly shifting from one focus to the next – I call it the ‘flavour of the month’. In my experience, I’ve seen the focus shift from spiritual warfare to worship to First Nations healing/reconciliation to Jewish roots to the prophetic to the apostolic to discipleship to covering and authority. Are these ‘winds of doctrine’? They don’t go directly against God’s word, but is that where our focus should be?
The way I view it, these things are on the periphery of what the heart of the gospel is – to love one another, to love God, and in loving God and each other, we choose to die daily to our old sinful nature. Almost all the things I mentioned above never address the change God wants to work in each of us, to become more like Christ (the only one that would speak to this would be discipleship). Why does it seem people spend so much time focusing on the issues on the periphery and not what is at the heart?
Bare with me here. I’m going to try to use an analogy that popped into my head the other day about what I’ve been experiencing.
Let’s say ‘the bus’ is a group of people who all meet together in the same church building once a week – a congregation of a particular church. Some of those people are on ‘the bus’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each bus has slightly (or possibly largely) different ideas on issues concerning faith, leadership, the Christian walk, etc. The people who stay on the bus all the time for the most part hold to the ideas of that particular bus. The bus might stop beside another bus and the people on those 2 buses may talk to each other while waiting at a stop light or in a traffic jam. But each person stays on their own bus.
There are people, however, who do not ride the bus all the time. They might get off and go for a walk. Or they might board another bus for a while and then get back onto the first bus. They don’t necessarily hold to all the ideas of the bus they are riding. While not riding the same bus 24 hours a day/7 days a week can broaden a person’s perspective and help them test more thoroughly what they’re hearing, their relationships with the people who ride 24/7 seem to be affected. It’s like when you get onto a bus and everyone is talking and laughing, but you don’t know what they’re talking about and you’ve missed out on the joke. After being on the bus for a while, you can pick up on the conversation and enter into the discussion, but there always seems to be a lag time when you first get back on the bus.
As I’ve been thinking about this analogy, some questions have popped into my mind:
Is it biblical for a congregation to ask everyone in that congregation to hold to the same ideas?
(I used to think this was the way towards unity, but now I’m not so sure)
And if this approach is biblical, what place is there in this framework for people who don’t think the same as everyone else? Or who don’t necessarily hold to the same ideas (although they can agree on the foundations of the Christian faith – Christ’s death & resurrection, for example)?
Can we or are we able to accept and embrace those people who don’t ‘tow the party line’? What do we do with those people? Can they function in unity with the rest of the body of Christ?
What does unity in Christ look like?