Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Patience is a virtue.  All these years of my life, I figured that phrase was in the Bible.  It's not...exactly.  It's in there in ways, alluded to in Scripture, but those four words do not appear together, that I can find!

Never-the-less, patience is something that God doled out to me.  Or maybe it's a combination of compassion and patience.  There are times when I am definitely impatient.  Waiting at red lights when I'm late...definitely impatient.  Waiting for an appointment when I was right on time and the one I have the appointment with is chronically late...definitely impatient.  Waiting for someone to do something on the computer when I know I could do it in half the time...definitely impatient.  I try not to show that impatience and exude grace instead.  Sometimes it works.

Still, patience is something that I have been given by God, as apparent when I'm with people who didn't get the full gift of patience.  I've been with many a person in a restaurant who get very impatient when their needs aren't taken care of within a given amount of time.  Then they get critical and my enjoyment of the experience takes a nose dive.  Sometimes, yes, sometimes the complaints are valid.  Many times, the complaints border on selfish.

I think that's the deal, for me, with patience.  There's a certain level of selfishness that comes into play.  When we are asked to be patient, we are asked to put our wants and need, our selfishness aside.  It's hard to be patient when we WANT something, really, really bad.  It's hard to be patient when things aren't going our way.  It's hard to be patient when we know we could do things differently and it would go better.  We want to hurry things along.  There are moments when we can step in, when we can push the agenda and get what we want or need.  Yet, what I have experienced in my Christ-walk has been over and over and over again the small voice of God saying "Wait".  

I want to know what tomorrow is going to bring.  God says, "Wait."

I want to have answers to questions.  God says, "Wait."

I want resolution to a situation.  God says, "Wait."

The gift of patience means that I wait.  I may complain a little.  I may whine.  I may get restless and shift back and forth and back and forth in my chair but by-in-large I wait.

A year ago I was beginning the waiting process.  I had quit my job with nothing on the horizon but God's promise that my work was done where I had been, that there was no place for me there anymore and the knowledge that now as the time to fly.  So I flew and landed...and waited.  That was a tough stretch of time.  There were moments when I was sure I had heard God wrong, that I had made the wrong choice and every time I asked God said, "Wait."  Eventually the next thing came along but still, as I accomplish and learn more, as I make new connections and pay the bills, still I know that I am being asked to wait.  There is more to come.  My timing isn't the one that is important...it's God's timing that is important...and so I wait.

**Side-note:  As I was writing this, I took a break and read an article on Yahoo news and had to laugh.  Here is what I read about an interview with the President and First Lady on The View:

As for Michelle, President Obama said, "She should run for office, but she says she doesn't want to."
"I mean, Michelle would be terrific," he continued, "but temperamentally I just don't think [she could]."
"Yeah, no," the first lady said. "It takes a lot of patience to be the president of the United States, and I'm not that patient."  

By the way, God, I have no desire to be President.  Thanks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Home again

Home from Pearlington.  Worked all day at my day job.  Tired.  Will update soon.  You can also go to www.ca2ms.blogspot.com for more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Friday Five--I need Help--Day Five

One way I have helped others:

This post is hitting the wires while I am in the air, flying to the town that captured my heart 7 years ago, Pearlington, Mississippi.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am grateful for Hurricane Katrina.  Not for the havoc or the destruction but the opportunity to find a part of myself I never knew existed and the opportunity to meet people I would never have met. 

I love putting on my steel toed boots, jeans and t-shirts and going to work.  I find it challenging and selfless, yet also selfish.  I get something out of helping people rebuild their lives in this tangible way.  I can't put this part of me back into the drawer it came out of.  I can't help but help.

God moves in mysterious ways and while I have a hard time fully accepting a God of chaos and destruction, I know that through chaos and destruction, God changed my life and I found a passion for helping that goes beyond anything I've ever known before.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday Five--I need Help, Day Four

Another time when I received help when I didn't want to ask for help:

I love watching little kids try and figure things out on their own.  My niece, Miss P, wants to do EVERYTHING herself, as did Creative Guy and Adventure Boy and all the other kids I've known that are in the age range of 2+.  "I do it!" is a common statement for parents to hear.

"I do it!" is a common statement for God to hear from me.  "I've got it covered.  I don't need extra help.  I don't want to bother God with something so little.  I can handle it."  I've said and/or thought those statements and many more like them for years.  In my relationship with God I tend to say "I do it!" a lot. 

There have been times along the way, though, when I've found myself at the bottom of the proverbial barrel, feeling myself sink deeper and deeper into the pit, sure I wasn't going to find my way out.  Did you hear that?  I said sure I wasn't going to find my way out.  All about me.  Not about God.

Those moments have always pointed out a huge truth.  I need help.  I can't do it alone.  My strength is not enough.  I need God.

Yesterday I was going through a list of questions about God and Christianity some High School students had answered, compiling them into one document.  One of the High School students said they wanted to hear why their youth group leaders believed in God.  They wanted to know what compelled their leaders to believe in God.  I thought about my own answer to that question and one of the answers that came was simply this:  I need God.  I can't do it on my own.  I need the help that comes from prayer, the peace that comes from knowing I don't have to do it on my own, the strength that comes from knowing I am loved, beyond all human understanding...even when I stand at the bottom of the barrel, realizing I, once again, allowed my pride, my stubbornness, my self get in the way and finally, finally cry out..."I need help."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Friday Five: I Need Help--Day Three

I am horrendously awful about asking for help.  The part of me that always, always, feels like a failure gets in my way and stops me from asking for help.  I am the helper, not the one in need. Maybe I don't like to feel indebted to other people.  Maybe my perfectionism gets in the way and its easier to ask to do things myself than ask for help.  I know a part of me hates to be let down, so not asking for help means that no one can let me down.  Whatever it is, I am awful about asking for help.

So I don't.  Yet there are two people who help me all the time, without being asked or even when I don't want to ask.  Now some may say it's their duty, but I know better.  They help because of love and I am grateful.  I live with my parents.  When I moved back in after college they were gracious and I only intended it to be for a year or two.  That year or two has been extended, considerably.  I like to think it's a little give and take.  They are retired, they travel but I'm around and can take care of things while they are away.  I've heard from both of them, separately at times that there is absolutely no rush to move out, in fact I'm pretty sure they both like having me around...most of the time.  I am human, I do get grumpy and they are the first line of fire when things are going awry.  I'm sorry for that but I'm also so grateful for their help.

If I am close to my breaking point, they are the people I will turn to first.  It never fails if I'm feeling stressed or scared or sad or whatever and I hear the voice of Yo Momma or Papa Bear, I'm done.  The tears start.  And they are always there to help.  No matter what.  I also know they are proud of me.  No matter what.  Sure, my relationship with my parents can be a little rocky at times but never once do I doubt their love and support.  I know beyond a doubt that I am blessed with two amazing people for parents.  And I am grateful for their help...even when I don't want to ask.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Friday Five--I Need Help--Day Two

The 2nd way I received help when I didn't want to ask for it...correct that, when I didn't know to ask for it.

 For a couple of years there were four of us, all in youth ministry, who would get together and collaborate on activities for our youth groups.  We would also get together just to talk about life and ministry.  We traveled to Youth Worker Conventions together and basically became really good friends, with youth ministry and God being the commonality.  There was one year when that friendship transcended youth ministry and definitely became more about just getting through life.  At the end of that year, one of us left youth ministry, another moved away and then there were two...until I left my job.

My friend, T, wasn't about to let me leave youth ministry fully.  The last couple of months as I prepared to leave my job, he was preparing to hire someone, very, very, very part-time to help with the stuff that was keeping him from doing ministry fully.  He offered me the position.  Seeing a very small paycheck come in the door when I was letting go of a nice paycheck (though I was not without the ability to survive:  see yesterday's post) was one reason I said yes but really the other reason was I needed to feel useful.  Every week for 6 months I had something to do every Tuesday.  I had a place to go, someone who needed my help and who was counting on me to get the job done.  I didn't know I would need that sense of being useful, having a purpose but there it was.  I didn't know I needed help, I didn't know I to ask for it but God knew.

It's been a year and I have a new job now.  Not a full-time job and I'm surviving.  I'm not sure how long my very, very part time job will last but for now, I'm content.  Not just to be helped by a friend but to help him as well. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five: I Need Help--Day One

From Martha at RevGalBlogPals:  This time last Friday I was on my way to the airport to pick up your usual host for first Friday Five. We had a mighty to-do list for the Labor Day weekend, and her accomplishments were so far beyond impressive as to be heroic. A dumpster is now full of water-damaged junk from my basement.

This was not a job I could have accomplished by myself. I had to ask for help.

I hate to ask for help. I love to give it. You may identify with these feelings.

So, for this Friday Five, please list four ways you have been helped when you didn't want to ask for it and one way you had a chance to help that meant a lot to you.

If you know how to link to your post, God bless you, and if you don't, I promise to visit you anyway. And if you have a minute, leave a thank you to kathrynzj, the heroine mentioned above, who is retiring from Friday Five.

I'm going to take a little bit of liberty with this Friday Five and make it a Five Day event.  Partly because I don't have the time, at the moment, to ponder all five "helps" and partly because I want to take the time to do this one justice!

1st way I've received help when I didn't want to ask for it:

Actually that should be, I received help that I didn't know to ask for.

A year and a half ago I sent a venting text to a friend.  It went something like "I can't do this anymore."  The response came back immediately.  "Where are you?  I have something for you."  We met up briefly and this friend handed me an envelope.  I was in the midst of something else and I didn't open the envelope until about a half hour later.  When I did the floodgate of tears could not be stopped.  I sought this friend out and sat and cried and tried to give the envelope back, thanked my friend profusely and then...and then began to wonder.

My friend was God's messenger at that point, providing a way out, literally.  I knew, I KNEW what I needed to do at that moment and over the next two months I prayed and prayed and prayed until the moment was right.  Meetings were held, paperwork was handed in, goodbyes were said and for 6 months I survived because of the unbelievable love and generosity of a friend.  I wasn't asking for the kind of help my friend gave.  I couldn't conceive of asking for that kind of help and yet, there it was.  Offered without strings.  Offered without qualm and with a quite a forceful "you can't give this back!"

I'm forever grateful for the help I didn't know to ask for...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


If we can get the flights, a week from today I will be in Mississippi for the 12th time.  Prayers that everything comes together is much appreciated from a financial standpoint and flights/car rental/housing standpoint.  My teammates this trip are Yo Momma (whom you can pray for as Gail), Jolynn and Laurel.

Grateful for to work for a non-profit whose motto is "Service Above Self".