Tag Archives: blogger

Hey Jealousy…

When I was growing up, we were in church every time the doors were open.  In fact, we were usually the ones opening the doors.  I spent as much time at church as I did at home.  My parents worked there, I went to school there, my house was practically on the property, and of course there were the services…  Every once in a while I’d ask my parents, “Do I have to go to church tonight?”  Without fail (why did I keep asking?) they would smile cheerfully and say, “Nope.  You don’t have to go.  You get to go!”  No amount of contriving to escape from that explanation ever worked. 

I really didn’t mind going to church.  But every once in a while, I just wanted to stay home.  Now that I’m an adult, I have to admit that every so often I take pleasure in missing a service just because.  I love church and believe it’s important to be an active part of a community of faith, but I’ve never been one who thinks my relationship with God depends on never missing a service. 

My parents were always very big on our attitude.  Bad attitudes were simply not allowed.  While I often begrudged their insistence that my attitude always be good, that I always try to find the good in something, I find these days that I really appreciate that training. 

Most of the time, I look at my life and am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for giving me such blessings.  I have much to be thankful for, including a nice, comfortable house to live in, enough work to keep me busy and financially sound, a good education, godly parents, great friends, and a man who loves me.  I allow the feeling of being treasured by God, provided for, and blessed to wash over me and I rejoice in all that God has done. 

But every once in a while different, unwelcome feelings flood over me.  I won’t list out for you all the failures that accumulate in my mind, but at times they feel overwhelming.  I can’t understand the delays, the rejection, the lack.  When I put all my effort into something and it doesn’t work out, how do I handle the frustration and pain? 

I’ve discovered that when I take my pain and frustration to the Lord, He soothes me.  In prayer I am reminded that God’s timing is perfect.  I am reminded that it’s not my job to make things happen, but to be open to accepting opportunities in obedience when they come.  It’s not my job to make myself a success, but to humbly do all my hand finds to do as unto the Lord and wait for Him to bless me. 

Even so, I find out that a fellow unknown writer/blogger got a major publishing opportunity because something he wrote got shared with the right person at the right time and my small, black, jealous heart twists in pain.  Why him and not me, God?  I like him.  I like his writing.  Why not BOTH of us?  And then the ugliest of thoughts, that maybe he’ll mess up the opportunity and not write anything they want to publish.  Maybe they’ll hate his writing and he’ll go back to being an unknown who is hopefully writing his little blog just like me…   And the soft flutter of angel wings surrounds the green monster in my heart with soothing words of love.  Be happy for him.  Pray that he’ll succeed.  Bless him as he writes.  I have plans for you too. 

And I know it’s true.  I know I absolutely must bless him, cheer for him, and even be happy for him.  I’m not sure if I can do it.  Do I have to, Lord?  Oh, but I get to.  I get to watch my twisted and ugly heart become pure when it is washed with the love of Christ.  I get to allow my Savior into that part of myself and give Him space to work.  And when his first book comes out (for surely it will because he IS incredibly talented), and I congratulate him, I will mean it with all my heart.  And I will know God has transformed me.  I will know my decision to let God change my attitude has made all the difference. 

The thing is, God is the one who has given me the gifts and talents I have.  He is the one who has placed desires in my heart for good things.  Why would God, who created me and loves me, give me these talents and desires and not provide a way for me to use them?  If I continue to walk in obedience to what I believe He is guiding me to do, then I am sure to walk right into more than I could ever imagine for myself. 

So I will be the best I can be at what I’ve been given to do now.  I will be the best friend, the best girlfriend, the best daughter, the best sister and aunt, the best writer, and the best employee I can possibly be.  I will keep putting one foot in front of the other, knowing I am doing what I am able to do, thanking God that He has provided for me.  Most importantly, I will walk in obedience to His Word, doing all I can to stand before my Lord innocently, ready to do His will.  I will trust Him to take care of me. 

I will pray earnestly for the success of all those who have things that I wish I had.  I will pray and pray and pray, not stopping until I can do so without gritting my teeth.  I will pray until my heart really means it and I can really smile as I say the words.  I will even thank God that I get to pray.  Lord, cleanse my jealous heart…

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Filed under Spiritual Life

Sex Sells?

   

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day I began revealing some of my private thoughts to the world on a blog.  I had no idea a colleague’s suggestion to start a blog for the purpose of communicating more of myself to the members of our church would turn into such a big part of my life.  I didn’t know if anyone really wanted to read my thoughts and feelings, but I decided to give it a try.    

I’ve had some heartache this year as a result of this blog.  A few people I love dearly have misunderstood or simply not liked what I’ve written.  It’s possible that they thought they knew me and once they read my blog, they decided they didn’t like me.  Ouch.  But this blog has also brought me great joy as people have commented on something that’s helped them in some way or how alike we really are.    

I’m learning to accept the controversy and even discomfort others might feel at what I choose to share.  I’m learning to deal with the shock I feel when someone I don’t know well asks how my debt-reduction plan is going or some other personal question they wouldn’t normally know about me.  Oh yeah…  I wrote about that on the internet for anyone to read!     

I’m also learning what people like to read and what they really don’t care about.  I’m also learning that people don’t always post comments on the things they like, but might tell me later that a posting helped them not to feel so crazy or alone.    

There’s this addicting little page available to me called “Blog Stats” that lets me know how many visitors I’ve had, what posts they’ve read, and so forth.  I try not to let my emotions rise and fall with the rise and fall of the number of readers each day.  I’ve tried to let the page teach me what works and what doesn’t.  I’m not always successful though.  I don’t like the days of zero readers, although that hasn’t happened in a while.    

I can only imagine, what it will be like, when my stats get this high...

 

I find myself wondering how many readers other bloggers have.  How do I stack up?  And how do those power bloggers with 10,000 readers a day do it?  They say sex sells.  Maybe I should write more about that?    

Here is a list of posts you clicked on most this year:    

  1. Orie Wenger – I wrote down some memories of my uncle who passed away in June of 2009.  Many people loved him and losing him was a terrible tragedy.
  2. Ash Wednesday – The beginning of a spiritual and personal journey I have been on to cut out the excesses in my life and focus on just being a Christian.
  3. Strength of Soul – A devotional posting I wrote in response to Psalm 138. 
  4. Thoughts on “Back to School” – This post created some serious controversy, which came as a surprise to me.  I almost deleted it, but decided a little controversy was okay.

Hmmm….  None of these were about sex or anything particularly scandalous at all.    

If I were choosing which posts I most want you to read, I think I like the ones I’ve posted recently the best.  I realize that might be how I felt at most points in the last year.  I’m not sure, but here they are anyway:   

  1. The Truth Hurts, but Silence Kills
  2. Anxiety
  3. Depression
  4. Haiti

I’ve posted 54 times in the last 52 weeks.  My goal at the beginning was to post three times a week, but I found that few people have the time or inclination to read three posts a week.  I also discovered I would rather write less often and have something of quality to say than stick to a prescribed number of writings per week.  I’ve written about sex a little bit here and there, but not much.  I guess a celibate, single girl’s thoughts on sex aren’t that exciting, although I assure I have some many thoughts on the subject.    

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  I’m looking forward to the new things I’ll learn in the second year of blogging.  If you have any suggestions or want to hear my thoughts/opinions on a particular subject, I’d love to hear from you.  When you post comments, it makes me so happy.

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Filed under Just Goofing Around, Odds and Ends

Keeping Secrets from Satan

I’m an extrovert, which is helpful for a blogger.  I have very few secrets because it’s just too hard to keep them.  How do you remember who knows what about you?  That’s exhausting!  What are we all looking for in life but to be known?  The thing that people say when they fall in love is: He/She “gets” me.  We’re all hoping someone will understand us and think we’re cool.  I don’t think it’s just me.

 

But there’s more to it than that.  One of the Scriptures I’ve based my life on is in I John 1.  In the New King James, the section heading is “Fellowship with Him and One Another.”  I won’t quote it all here, but basically it says that Christians should walk in the light – confessing our sins to one another.  The opposite of walking in the light is hiding away in the darkness.  When we bring things into the light, we are confessing our sins to one another.  Am I promoting the Catholic version of “The Confessional”?  Not really.  I’m promoting friendship.  I’m promoting real relationships with others who know us in and out. 

 

When we confess our sins to one another, they no longer have the same power over us.  The shame is removed, the darkness is exposed, and others who love us are able to pray for us.  Those who love us are able to support us, to not expose us to things that might weaken us, and stand beside us when we fall. 

 

There’s a great power in knowing we’re not alone.

 

There’s wisdom in keeping your precious things private.  As extroverted as I am, you aren’t likely to read specific details about old boyfriends or my hurt over the loved one who constantly breaks my heart here in my blog…  But I have some wonderful, close, trustworthy friends who truly know me. 

 

I think many people in my generation understand this way of thinking and relate to it.  I’ve learned that many who are older have a harder time with it.  They were taught that appearances must be kept up and that there are certain things that are not to be discussed.  There’s an element of truth in their perspective.  Appearances can be important. We want to avoid the appearance of evil.  And some things should not be discussed openly, or at least not with strangers.  So there is probably a healthy balance between the two extremes. 

 

But the younger generation gets frustrated with the focus on appearances to the detriment of the health of a family or an individual when secrets must be kept to protect someone’s repetitively bad behavior.  We are tired of the lies and misrepresentations.  We are tired of being asked to cover for those who want to appear one way to the outside world but are completely different behind closed doors.  We are tired of blatant hypocrisy.  We’ve experienced the hurt it can cause and we don’t want to pass that hurt on to others. 

 

So you can imagine my surprise a while back when someone told me that he doesn’t talk about the deep things in his heart because Satan will hear him.  And if Satan hears his weaknesses and fears, then Satan has power over him to attack him in the weak places. 

 

Huh?  (Picture me shaking my head in confusion…)  I had a very difficult time digesting this information. 

 

This Christian is afraid of Satan?  What happened to “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world?”  (I John 4:4)  Christians don’t have to walk around afraid of Satan! 

 

This fear was very real and has paralyzed the man for many years.  As I thought about it later I realized, he’s keeping secrets from Satan!  And those secrets are eating his soul alive.  He is isolated from people, afraid to make friends, and afraid that what he reveals about himself will be used against him by the devil.  (More confused head shaking…)

 

All I could think was – what a sad way to live. 

 

I assume that about one in every three new friends I invest in will really turn into a good, close, trustworthy friend.  I expect new people I meet to fail me or even to betray me.  It doesn’t make it easier when those things happen, but it doesn’t shock my system so much either.  I’m better able to take it in stride and focus on the friends I do have.  But I refuse to give Satan that much power over me.  Let him hear me confess my sins!  And let him be defeated because those sins no longer hold the same power over me as they did when they were locked away inside walls of guilt and shame.  I can’t think of a better way to frustrate Satan’s plans for my life than to confess my sins and make Satan so irrelevant and powerless over me that I have nothing to fear. 

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Filed under Just Goofing Around