June 28, 2009

Wretched, Miserable, Poor, and Blind

"Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich... Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent."
~Revelation 3:17-19~

Portions of this verse have been jumping around in my head the last couple of days and today I looked up the verses in context and was quite astonished to see it in its fullness. I was surprised to see that it actually spoke of refining, because it brought my understanding full circle.

But let me back up and provide some context as it relates to my life.

4 weeks ago the company I work for went through a major transition, and involuntarily handed the reigns over to a completely different East-coast based company, Comair. The last 4 weeks have been miserable. We've been understaffed, overworked, and underpaid.

And... Hi, my name is Sara McMoody. I'll be your server tonight. Our specials this evening are Ungratefulness and Lost Perspective.

Oh, how I have wrestled with the Lord the last 4 weeks. And oh, how I have indulged my complaints and negativity and self-pity. I have been wretched at work. I've had face-to-face blow-ups with co-workers, meanness towards passengers, angry outbursts. You name it.

And nearly every morning I've pleaded with the Lord for His love towards these people; for His patience and mercy. Waiting for a lightning moment from Heaven extending the ability to obey, being deceived that until then my actions were out of my control.

I went from a spiritual high to a plunging, breath-taking low. The Esther study wrapped up the week before the company transition. I went from a place of spiritual fruit and true reliance on the Lord, to a place of intense stretching and extreme discomfort; and to put it quite plainly, I have not done very well.

I've been poor, miserable, wretched, and blind. I was in a place of spiritual wealth: ample fellowship, daily prolonged time in Bible study and prayer, spiritual fruit. I transitioned, by default of a new company, to a place of overwork, high stress, isolation, and intense challenge.

I've dreamed incessantly of being someplace different, all the while having the most ungodly attitude. For the last 3 days now, the Lord has been trying to get my attention, and it wasn't until this morning that I actually sat down and gave Him the adequate time and place to speak to me.

I am exactly where He wants me.

It's difficult and hard and I would gladly this cup pass from me, but He's placed me there. Amidst the difficult circumstances and people. Amid being understaffed and overworked and underpaid. Why?

Because there are people there that He loves with an unfathomable love. People that desperately need to be shown the unfailing love and truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.

People who come from every walk of life that need a kind word and a loving deed, without punishment.

Because He's worthy of every small sacrifice.

Because the reknown of His Name and His Glory should be my life's pursuit.

It's in these moments of life, the utter downs, the ones in which we beg for this cup to pass, that we are conformed to His image; we pass from the natural into the supernatural.

"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
~1st Peter 1:6-7~

What should our lives result in? The praise and glory and honor of me? Of my name?

No. With as much emphasis as I can utter. To the praise and glory and honor and revelation of Jesus Christ.

If we have settled into a place of self-satisfaction and self-congratulation, we need a wake-up call. We need to remember from where we have fallen, and that we were poor, wretched, miserable, blind, and naked. Until Him.

Until Him.

Not until our pwn piety kicked in. Not until our good works outweighed our bad. Not until others recognized our goodness. Not until others praised us.

Until Him.

June 17, 2009

Check. Check. And Check.

Hello my friends. I'm sorry my writing has been so infrequent. Between being 7 weeks pregnant and in the throes of sickness and going back to work full-time, I don't have the time (or energy) that I did before.

But I'm here now, aren't I??

I thought I would do a checklist of pregnancy symptoms that I have thus far already experienced.

...

Nausea. Check.

Constantly. Check.

Food aversions. Check.

Food cravings. Check.

That control me. Check.

Extreme exhaustion. Check.

Irritability and moodiness. Check.

The desire to yell at passengers for no reason at all. Check.

Flatulence. Check. (And check, check, and one more check.)

Weird dreams. Check.

A sudden supernatural sharpening of the sense of smell. Check.

(Wow, once again, my alliteration absolutely astounds me.)

One that I'm too modest to write out because this is public internet domain. Check.

Let's see... does that cover everything? Probably not, but it's all my befuddled mind can think of at the present time.

On a miraculous note, Matt and I got to see our little bitty baby and his/her heartbeat on Monday. We almost started crying, it was so incredible to see. And it made this whole journey that much more real, since there's still no outward physical proof, and at times, I was wondering if I had made this whole thing up.

Except for the nausea, the missed period, the flatulence (let's not forget the flatulence), the aversions, the cravings, etc.

Hope each of you are having a fantastic day, and leave a comment if you're so inclined (which I hope you are...).

June 14, 2009

My Bravery Astounds Me

My bravery has reached new levels.

Deeper depths.

Higher heights.

...

I killed two spiders this past week.

Two.

Actually, really only one, because the other was already dead, but I didn't know that when I came upon it. So it counts as two.

For those of you who know me even a tiny smidgeon, this is akin to the building of the Great Wall of China. Years of construction and preparation.

Thank you. Yes, thank you. That's very kind of you, thank you.

Deeper thoughts to come. Please tune back in.

June 08, 2009

We're a Team

I was thinking about something yesterday, and I'd thought I'd write about it, since that's usually what I do.

(By the way, for those of you who left comments on the previous post (Mom, Gloria, and Linda), thank you. I literally laughed so hard I cried.)

I was thinking about Matt and I, and our marriage. And about what a team we truly are. And how blessed I am to be married to someone that's such a team player.

We do not have assigned "roles" in our family. Let me clarify that in case you may misunderstand what I'm saying. Matt is the protector and initiator of well-being in our family. Much of the responsibility of our provisions and decisions rest on him.

But he does not lord over me. He is not the boss of me, so to speak. He doesn't wield his leadership like a club and command me to follow him and fall in line. I once heard a marriage expert and counselor say that if Christian men have that attitude, they've completely missed the spirit of humble leadership that Christ has given to the husband in the Bible.

We are a team. We make decisions together. Matt consults with me over every decision, and vice versa. We don't make monumental decisions without the other's consent. Sure, there are things like cars and repairs and maintenance that I'm not good at nor am I remotely interested in it. Matt takes complete care of it, and neither of us feel any need to involve me in that process.

I don't do the cooking and cleaning because I'm the wife. And he doesn't work all day and then come home and demand dinner because he's the husband. We do what we're good at when we can. We both cook. We both clean. We both shop for groceries. When Matt's in school, I do most of the cooking and cleaning because he can't and I can. Does that bother me? Absolutely not. Because we're a team, and teams work together.

We're not split down the middle. You do this half, and I do this half. No, we both contribute fully to the well-being of our marriage and home, which means there may be times when one is picking up the other's slack. We do it unbegrudgingly.

And as we are married for longer and longer, we learn that one or the other is better at certain things and that becomes more our own domain. Such as laundry. I do laundry most of the time, because I'm a good multi-tasker and it's easy to fit it into whatever else I may be doing.

Cooking. I do cook, but Matt enjoys it more and when he's not in school, he does most of it.

Now, that I'm in the beginning months of pregnancy, I find myself exhausted constantly. Matt has multiple times in the last week cooked dinner and cleaned up. I am so thankful for that. I am so thankful that he doesn't lord over me, and demand to be served as the leader of our home.

And that has a reciprocal effect. He doesn't have to demand respect or a trusting attitude from me, as he leads us into oftentimes unfamiliar territory. He has it completely. I've seen day in and day out that he is trustworthy and humble, willing to serve and sacrifice, diligent and respectable. So when the unknown comes, and the responsibility rests on him to make a final decision, I trust and follow what he decides.

Not that we're perfect in this process. And not to say there haven't been times when my stubborn independence hasn't creeped in wanting my way. But he makes it easier to submit and trust him.

We can't decide what we will or won't do because of "roles." If so, we've completely missed the spirit of humility that is written all throughout Scripture. We've gotta be a team in our marriages, or we may be fostering a perfect environment for resentment. Christ came not to be served, but to serve, and He's told us to be like Him. This starts in our marriages.

June 04, 2009

Let's Talk About a Few Things

I'd like to talk today about a few things that bother me...

...Rush hour traffic.

...Passengers who think they know more than I do about the airline world.

...Passengers who think that kiosk check-in is a cruel form of punishment reserved for only the most evil, rather than an actually very efficient tool.

...Passengers who...(ok, I'm over them).

...Useless confrontation. (Especially when I get sucked into it, and end up feeling like an idiot afterward that I even went there.)

I'm drawing a blank. Good. I'd hate to think that I'm a particularly prickly person.

That is some amazing alliteration.

Now for some things that I enjoy (and am thankful for, because I just remembered it's Thankful Thursday!)...

...My husband. Most wonderful man ever.

...Being pregnant. Even if it's only me that can tell right now.

...Passengers who believe me. (I promise I did not make up the $15 bag charge just to pocket a few extra dollars every day.)

...Sun-stinkin'-shine.

...PARTIES. I am a people-person in my bone marrow.

What are some things that bother you? How about some things you enjoy? You know, honestly, I'm more interested in the things that bother you. Is that sick?

Come on, all you lurkers! Time to make yourself known!

June 02, 2009

Pregnancy Hormones and I Need to Break Up

Pregnancy mood swings are no joke. I'm not sure that getting deeply core-irritated because someone is still talking for 35 seconds longer than I would have liked them to is very healthy. I'm also not sure that rush hour traffic is good enough reason for a near-emotional breakdown.

Ok, I exaggerate.

But barely.

I've been reading lots about pregnancy, and I find myself being a little ridiculous.

If I read that your sense of smell becomes sharper, then I can suddenly smell the neighbor's raw beef they're cooking...two houses over.

I need to get a grip.

Certainly, some things have absolutely been true. The first thing is that I'm constantly exhausted. If I get up at 8 and have mild activity for approximately 4 hours, all I can think about is how I wiped out I am, and how I desperately need a nap.

Is this normal??

I hope so, because if not, I've just created a new normal.

It's been a blast to share the news though. I love dropping the bomb on people. And not, you know, that kind of bomb. (Although I hear too that that type of bomb is also a side effect of pregnancy.)

Thank you everyone for your excitement and for sharing in such joy with us. I will continue to keep you updated, and feel free to share any funny pregnancy/irrational-hormone stories you may have!