Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New Beginnings

Life seems to have suddenly gotten in the way of blogging. I know I'm not the only one who has had to step back and take a hard look at my priorities. For me, blogging began as a way to connect with other Christian women. It was to be a place to share experiences, good or bad, and to encourage and to be encouraged. It has done that for me, but it has also taken up a large portion of time that would be better spent tending to the needs of my husband, and my household.

Since the first of the month, I have been in a bit of a slump. After returning home from a visit with my family, my heart became heavy, and I found it difficult to do much of anything. Even praying was hard. Until a week ago, when I opened my prayer blog to receive requests. Then things began to change. Thanks to Bev for motivating me to put others' needs ahead of my own. I read those few requests and was moved to tears that I would be afforded such a privilege. Y'all, I am humbled. God is so good!

Friday evening, my ex-wife-in-law, April, and I left for the weekend on a church women's retreat. It was my first ever, and I didn't know what to expect. April was the only one I knew, even though I have been attending the church for almost a year. I had "met and gret" a few of the ladies, but hadn't ever taken an opportunity to get to know any of them. I'm not unfriendly, just really shy, and it takes me a while to open up.

So there I was in the middle of worship, kinda holding back for some reason, not really getting into it. Then our speaker began to teach on the first chapter of Jeremiah. I was so relieved to know that we would be spending time in the Word. The focus was "New Beginnings." At one point she asked if we had ever wondered if God cares where we live, and she referred us to Acts 17:26-27. That was apparently the word I needed, because I felt a huge burden lifted at that moment. She reminded us that it isn't about "me." It's about His plan and His purpose. We need to get involved His way.

After the session, I talked with Diane, our speaker. I had to tell her how her message had ministered to me. She asked if she could pray over me, and while she was praying, she said "I'm seeing a train. I don't know if that means anything to you, but it's a steam engine." She continued to pray, then she said, "It means stay on track. Keep moving forward. It's not a fast-moving train, but it is steady." That does mean something to me. I had been feeling rather discouraged, even doubting that I am living where I should be. Yes, I do recall sharing that I had been given assurance that this is where God wants me, but it had been a while since I last heard from Him.

Later, in our room, April and I were reading our Bibles, and I saw something that made me laugh aloud. The Bible I use is the NIV, and if you'll look at the bold heading just above verse 16, you'll see what I saw. See where it says "In Athens"? Y'all that's where I live! Go ahead and laugh. I realize it may seem silly, but that was just what I needed. It felt so good to lighten up.

In Saturday morning's session, Diane made yet another statement that will stick with me. "I can't do anything about what is not happening. I need to see what is happening and get involved." After the session, Jenny, a member of our church, invited us to a meeting to view a Moms In Touch International informational video. She is the leader of a group for a neighboring county, and it just so happens that there is no group for any of the schools in my county. Have you ever noticed this link in my sidebar? I've known about the organization for almost a year. When I discovered their list of "31 Ways to Pray for Our Youth," I printed it out and put it on my wall at work, gave copies to other moms, and emailed it to the moms in my family. Back in July, I linked to it in this post. I have to tell you it's starting to sink in that this just may be where God wants me to get involved.

Sunday morning's session ended with testimonies from several of the women in attendance. What an awesome weekend! I wanted to share all of this with them, but I knew I wouldn't be able to speak without breaking out into the "ugly cry," and I wasn't ready for them to see that yet. By the way, I found out that there's a new members class next Sunday, and I plan to be there.

Before we left, I made a point to speak with one of the women I hadn't had a chance to meet. She looked very familiar to me, but I didn't think I had seen her at church. She attends an earlier service. We discussed other places where we may have crossed paths, then she mentioned handbell choir. Of course, that's where I've seen her! I told her that I had played handbells in high school, and she informed me of our choir's need for more ringers. Guess who's going to practice tomorrow evening! Yes, she called me this afternoon to remind me. I'm really excited, not so much about the handbells as about finding a place to serve. The face to face meeting with other women was pretty cool, too. Praise the Lord!

What's to become of my blogging? I'm thinking that my prayer blog should be my primary focus, and this one will take a back seat. Hopefully, I'll be able to post at least once a week, and more often if time allows. I'll still be reading and lurking, commenting only if I have something to add to the conversation.

See y'all tomorrow! Many blessings!!

10 comments:

Dawn said...

I am so happy that you had such a good time at the retreat and that it ministered to you so specifically. (BTW, my BIL and family live in Athens - he is at the university). I love that God showed you new avenues of service. Moms in Touch is a great thing - when I worked at a middle school, they did wonderful things for the staff and prayed for us as well as the kids. What a blessing!

Thank you for praying for me and mine. My FIL is dying at this moment. Please pray for my husband and his family - harder times are coming soon.

Barb said...

It sounds like this retreat came at the perfect time for you, Brenda. I'm so glad you went. Your relationship with your ex-wife-in-law is so cool, an example to any of us who have exes in our lives. I have a couple (yeah, a couple - I'm wife #3) and after all these years, 28 next month in fact, I'm pretty sure they'd both still love for Rob to decide he made a mistake. :-)

I love handbells. How fun for you to get involved with that group. I can just picture you doing it.

Maybe it's the changing seasons. A lot of us started blogging at the beginning of the summer and I'm obviously not the only one looking back and realizing how much of my summer I spent at my computer. It's everywhere I go out here lately. People are frustrated at trying to get it back into the right perspective. It was so easy to blog when I knew six people.

:-)

Your prayer blog is a quiet, soothing place, a good place for you to focus your computer time. But I also love your sense of humor and look forward to the occasional pithy post on this blog.

xoxoxo

Kelli said...

Have I told you how much I love your spirit, your fellowship, your friendship? I do.

I totally get what you're saying though - so don't go far. Or at least email me -- or heck- call me! I'l love to chat :) Leave me a comment and I'll send you my toll free number :)

Tammy said...

Hearing how the Lord ministered to you just the way you needed it now was a blessing to me. I'm at the place where I need an extra touch or word from Him...and though sometimes it seems we go on for a long, dry spell, God has not forgotten us! He is faithful!

I, too, am pulling on the reins quite a bit with my blog. As for your prayer blog, I know God is using it!

Blessings, Brenda!
~Tammy

Melanie said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing. I am so excited for you on this adventure with God!

Cheryl said...

I want you to know you have been missed.
Oh, and the excitement you seem to be feeling about what's going on in your life right now is refreshing. Sounds like you have been stepping out and making some great choices. And the Lord is blessing you in many ways.
Look to Him! And as my favorite scripture reads "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart!"

Lauren said...

You sound much more upbeat in this post and I for one am happy for you. Cling to Him, Brenda. He ants to comfort you.

I'll be looing forward to your posts regardless of their frequency.

Mommy Dearest said...

I'm happy for you that you have found a niche you see the Lord wanting you to fill. It feels so good to find a window for ministering to others. The handbell choir sounds wonderful! There is a handbell choir for moms from my kids' music program, but I won't be able to go until I don't have 3 preschoolers with me - too much distraction for everyone!

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

This post, I got the feeling your heart was lighter. Which was a blessing. I'll still come around when I see youre writing, whether its often or seldom, and I'm thankful to know you have a renewed sense of purpose at your prayer blog. I find myself praying for these people when I wake up at night and cant go back to sleep. A good thing to do, I think. I'm happy to hear you sound happier.

lrlwreath said...

I am just now catching up on my reading. God loves us soo much that when we seek him when we ask, "Lord are you there?" he send something and/or someone. I praise God he provided for you, lifted you up.

Many Blessings.