Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Wrap Up

'Twas the month of love. Going into this month, I had grand visions of hours in prayer and song, snuggling up to the God of Heaven that I believe in. My main goals were to be mindful of regular and often prayer... to keep a heart of worship... to feel that deep satisfaction that comes only when we do connect with our God.

I am not disappointed in how the month went... but, it didn't go as I'd thought it would. Life didn't become less interrupted. Disappointments were not avoided. Hours didn't suddenly become available. But some very important lessons were learned.

While I had my goals in mind, my Heavenly Father had his own agenda with my heart. I don't see myself as someone who lacks in ability to love. But, we do not see as our Father sees. It's kind of like how we see what we think is our personal "good" and compared to some "not good" out there, we feel content with who we are. But, then our "good" is weighed in the balance with Righteousness and we are sorely lacking. God had some surprises for me this month!

I attend a women's Bible study each Tuesday and the past couple of months we've been wading through several Old Testament books. At our small group discussion one week we took a look at Isaiah 50:4 "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." (King James, Cambridge edition). Well, I read it and thought about education. I totally missed the point and I really don't know how I missed it, but I did. I thought the message was for us to learn. The message, as discussed by several ladies, was that we are to learn to speak words that build up... to learn how to speak to make a difference in other's lives. This was early in February and I decided that I needed to work on my words. I knew that already, but I figured I really, really needed to stop speaking. Because, as I confessed at the beginning of the month, I get rushed or sidetracked and a little stressed and speak too abruptly to my children. So, I determined to conquer my tongue. What a battle... I tell you I am still working on that!! Some mornings I heard Thumper, on Bambi, saying, "If you can't say somethin nice, don't say nothin at all..." What caught me, though, was that when I would find myself snapping, in those moments I was really lacking love for my child. My motive was to get through the moment, to get to the next thing, to get a child to stop something that was irritating to me, etc. So, I began stopping myself from speaking and thought about how to show love to my child. (Child here refers to teens, for the most part, but some of my children are adults now, too!) (I am not feeling young at all...) (sigh)

As I kept working on this, I reaped the fruit of love being sown... peace... I absolutely love a peaceful atmosphere! When I began speaking in love, the home became more peaceful. ***Disclaimer*** Because I am rather honest, I must say that I have failed many times this month. Seems for every victory catching myself, I had a few failures.***

Happiness. The whole idea of a "Happiness Project" is to set monthly goals, hold yourself accountable (I use a daily chart), and work on areas that you believe if you would change, would increase your overall happiness. In all honesty, to report on how that went this month... it was a rough month. I had an intense battle mid-month that warred on and on within me. I could literally feel myself battling "good verses evil". I kept my mouth shut. (Hooray! Shout for joy with me!!) It was an all out war to not act unlovely and it would have been so easy to give in and be hurtful. But, it would have been wrong. Fortunately, I had a couple of close friends who I could call upon and let out what would have been hurtful to tell to others. Ever been there? For days I had a choice to make. I could lift my eyes to my Maker and hand Him my hurts and declare that He knows what is best and will work all things for good (because I am called according to His purpose)(that's in scripture)(Romans 8:28) and then choose to love and let go. God is good. I am learning so much!

Other events in life swirl around me... things I cannot control... (Have you ever tried to control a teenager??) And I appreciate what Gretchen Rubin wrote of in The Happiness Project. She shared that when things are not so rough and we are going about life day to day and we put into practice little habits that are good for us and our overall happiness, those daily habits pull us through when the hard times hit. I am still having to work on time management, particularly getting more sleep and keeping a notebook handy to write things down that I don't want to forget... and I am quite sure I could ramble on a bit more, but, that's about all I've got for now!!

I hope those of you who have made a couple of decisions to work on some little changes will contact me again and let me know how you are doing! I'll be posting about my monthly "March" goals very soon...


Jeremiah 9:23-24 "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength, or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight declares the Lord."

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