Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mid-Week Reflection

It is the middle of what is shaping up to be another busy week at my {awesome} job.  I have been going pretty much non-stop since I started here.  This is a busy and sometimes unpredictable job I have! 

I'm a little pooped. 

I still ♥ my job for sure.  But it can get a little overwhelming and somewhat exhausting sometimes.  Add to that still trying to figure out what it means to be a wife and work full-time.  Our "schedule" is still a little out-of-whack as I navigate my ministry responsibilities here. 

Knowing this job would be a different kind of difficult than all my previous ministry positions, I have tried to n watch for the signs of fatigue and "combat" them with little things.  I decided (somewhat unconsciously) to return to an old devotional favorite of mine to begin each day.  This has helped immensely both vocationally and personally.  Still, I sometimes feel what I would call a nagging void or a sense that there's more out there God wants to tell me through others right now in my life.  I've picked up random books to thumb through here and there.  I am a girl who loves to read and I inherited a number of what look to be fantastic new books with this job.  Nothing seemed to spark interest, provide encouragement, or even challenge me in the way I longed for and wanted.

At the end of this busy Wednesday, I found myself a little tired and unmotivated to dig into something else.  Plus, it seemed all the little things I needed to do to complete the day could not be done for a variety of random reasons.  It was then that I remembered a website I've linked on my blog but (admittedly) forgot about.  The website is called {in}courage.  I jumped on over there and found a number of articles that challenged, encouraged, and motivated me. The whole website is incredible, but today I want to offer you this article.  It is called Courage to Be You. Hooked yet?!  That is definitely something we all need.  Plus, I am relatively certain that my handful of readers out there can all identify with what this woman is saying in more that one way.  I hope you enjoy it and find it just as edifying and life-giving as I did!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Real Discernment

"Discernment is God's call to intercession, never to fault finding." - Oswald Chambers

I just ran across this quote.  A few years too late, I must say.  I wish I would have had this one in the back of my mind when that guy in seminary told me he had the "gift of discernment" and proceeded to air what he thought were my flaws to another person on campus.  Fortunately she was a friend of mine and thought what this guy said was out-of-line and simply untrue...and she came right to me and told me what he said!  He confronted me (hmm...) when he found out I heard what he said to my friend.  He explained that he wasn't trying to be hurtful, he was just "blessed with the gift of discernment" and was sharing that with others.  In no uncertain (though kinder than I was feeling...) terms, I explained to him that he did not know me well enough to speak to my faults.  I told him I was aware of my own weaknesses and could list them for him and what he was accusing me of (Codependence...I am still not sure what in my life at this point made him think this?!) was not one of them.  He kept talking about having the "gift of discernment" and...blah, blah, blah.  Lots of words about God giving him this insight about people and a bunch of stuff that didn't seem the least bit true to me nor of the Lord.  I told him I admittedly didn't know much about the gift of discernment, but what I did know was that it was not meant to be used to tear others down.  This is the part where the above quote would have been PERFECT.

Please don't misunderstand my sharing this story.  I do not hold a grudge against this person.  I forgave him the minute our conversation/confrontation was through.  However, I didn't exactly go out and make him my best friend either.  He did teach me a valuable lesson that seemed to be solidified with each passing year in seminary.  I learned that there are many people who put God's name on their agenda and call it a "word from the Lord."  I learned to be leery of the people who seemed to say this too often. Learning this lesson even helped me make peace with people from my past who sought to (and succeeded in) speaking into my life their own "word from the Lord."  Finally, and more positively, I learned to value those rare real words from the Lord through friends and mentors who have sought to encourage and challenge me along this journey.

So, I guess it is good I didn't have the above quote during the incident I described.  I might have used it against that guy.  And all it really is and needs to be is a confirmation and encouragement that everything someone puts the Lord's name on is not always directly from Him...