Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coincidental? I think not!

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you are totally in the twilight zone?  Well, that has been the last few days.  I last wrote about struggling with the balance between serving a ministry where I am needed and called versus serving areas where I just know there is a vacant spot to fill.  I have a tendency to just do whatever needs to be done when I am capable of doing it. 

Gonna pause for just a few minutes, because I have so much to tie together.  I worked on connect group stuff all day Friday.  It was exactly what I needed.  I love the simple reminders that God is so in control and will provide exactly what I need in the timing that I need it. 

Our church has recently started a single mom ministry (I know I have mentioned it before, but it is absolutely amazing, and if you have not seen it, I am urging you to check it out here).  I have hesitated to share the way I feel about this, because I am terrified of making someone believe that I am not thankful, because that is certainly not the case.  But, it is a difficult place to be in, knowing that so many people are doing something specifically for you (and apparently 74 other moms, but that isn't always the way it feels), and that the task they were given was very difficult work.  While I was at work Thursday, I could hear the hustle and bustle of so many people working to help me provide my girls with school clothes.  It was so incredibly overwhelming that so many people were willing to take time out of their day to do an act of service like this one.  I really struggled with accepting help.  I hate to be dependent or needy of someone else.  I hate asking for help, and very rarely do it.  I don't like to tell someone I can't do something (which is most of the reason I don't usually tell someone no).  All of this just led to an overly emotional me. 

While preparing for my connect group (can't believe it was the last meet!), I realized the things I was struggling with were exactly the topics we were getting ready to cover at the session.  Things like, how do I figure out which things God wants me directly to do, and which things does he want me to let someone else do?  Do I receive help easily?  How are ways I can accept the help of others?  Why do I view receiving help as a weakness, and why does this bother me?  It was beyond coincidental that I had needed exactly what the book reminded me of. 

I was able to pick up some clothes for the girls right before my group was going to start.  And, while the volunteers were amazing, the selection was overwhelming, and I got exactly what I needed for the girls, I really just wanted to get out of there.  Again, I hate asking for help, I hate feeling like I am not capable of providing and have to depend on someone else.  It was definitely a great, yet difficult, place to be.  However, it was incredible to just be served.  No judging, no criticizing, just love.  And it was exactly what I needed. 

I left for connect group and shared slightly with them the realization of knowing things were going to have to be different.  Knowing that God was releasing me from certain obligations and that obedience was key.  While I am serving in many places, how many am I doing that job well in?  How many of those drain me completely, and which ones leave me ready to do great things?  I totally understand that there will be times when what God asks me to do will not be enjoyable, but some of this stuff can easily be done by someone more capable of serving in that area than me.  Light bulbs went on a lot for me this weekend. 

My receiving is someone else's blessing.  And, I have to accept this might just be the job they were told to do well.  Who am I to take that from them?  My prayers were being answered, just not in the way I thought they would be.  God never promised I would love the way he chose to provide for me, just that he would always provide.  And, he did.  He really, really did.
Between Saturday morning and today (Wednesday), I have had four different people plus an entire sermon tell me that doing everything isn't what God asked me to do.  My job is only doing what He wants me to do.  Just that he wants me to be obedient in what he has asked, and that I do it well.  And, I am trying.  Really, really trying.

On another note, I am so incredibly pumped.  I woke up this morning, knowing I had to run with the girls and was not a happy person.  As a matter of fact, I had convinced myself that I wasn't going to run.  I couldn't find my running skirt, then I couldn't get the stroller tires filled back up (they have slow leaks of some sort?), and then after struggling, the stupid thing didn't want to fit in its normal spot in the car.  By this point, I wanted to just lay it all aside and give up.  I had a few minutes, came back in the house to hurry Sara along and wanted to read a blog I follow for some encouragement.  Encouragement I got.  Her post was titled Embrace Fear (you are more than welcome to read it here).  While my fear wasn't similar to what she was facing, I still feared a bad run, and really would rather have no run than a bad run.  Needless to say, after reading that she pushed three kids for 6 miles, with no mile longer than 9 1/2 minutes, I felt ready.  So, I ran this morning, with two girlies in tow.  Started at Sonic, ran two a little past 2.0 miles, turned around and ran back.  What made my day was that I ran well.  The first 2.75  miles were run in 29 minutes or so, and then we totally conquered monster hill.  And, when I say I was victorious, I will explain myself...  I made it to the top without forcing kids out of the stroller and without having to ask someone help me to the top.  :)  I feel on top of it right now.  Totally on top of it.  I can do this, and I can do this well.  Finished my run strong with a 7:50something pace.  And two girlies.  Pretty happy with setting my mind to do something and do it well.  Cassie is so excited.  She wants to know when she gets to run with me again, and can it please, please, puh-lease be soon?  She has always been my cheerleader, and I love knowing that to her, I am a superhero, capable of running long and fast.  You know what else I loved?  The people I passed pushing them.  The looks were amazing and made me feel even stronger.  I love the smiles, the looks of amazement, and the feeling that I can do this.  Even more, I love knowing that dessert is in my future... 

I will run with Sara tomorrow afternoon.  After last Thursday's successful scooter ride/run, she is ready to go again.  I can't believe she actually is excited about getting all nasty hot and sweaty with me.  So proud of her determination.  I have a lot to learn from her!  She has asked me three times this week if we are still running on Thursday.  She is ready for a long fast bike ride, with me attempting to keep up with her.  For the longest time, I have been asking God to help me stay motivated.  I never thought his answer would be through the girls.  I am so thankful this afternoon.  Thankful for people who are so willing to love me extravagantly, even if it is difficult to accept.  Thankful for girls who are my life.  And, really thankful for the confidence I have found within myself.  I am capable of so much more than I allow myself to believe. 

And, as if that wasn't enough, I finally got all the kinks worked out with school and just started my first class officially a senior.  And, as long as the last class didn't do too much damage, I have maintained my near-perfect GPA.  I know that as soon as I hit the publish button, the battle will start.  Every time I announce this struggle didn't get me, or I overcame that obstacle, so much tries to take me down.  This time, I am ready.  I am prepared.  And this time, I know I am gonna win...

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