I'm in my room (our office/my craft room) looking out at the backyard and I can see the bath mats on the line. They're the really thick ones that take ages to dry, particularly in the cooler weather. I need to check them before they get rained on. I'll do it later.
I've got the pie in the oven for lunch and it'll be ready in about 50 mins or so. I was supposed to wait for the oven to pre-heat, but I didn't, I just stuck it in.
Doris Day is looking at me from the cover of a set of dvds behind the computer. It's Season 1 of The Doris Day show - seen it? I love Doris.
Andrew just got the 90% dry bathmats in for me and I've hung them up on the towel rails in the laundry to finish drying.
The rails are actually from the cupboard in this room. Andrew built some shelves in the cupboard for me (the best thing ever) and we hung the no-longer-needed clothing rails on the walls in the laundry instead (the best thing ever). They're kinda unsightly in there, but they're oh-so-functional I've gotta give 'em props for that. I love things that function and suit me and the way I work.
Now if only I could convince myself to take the doors off the cupboards in there! I access those laundry cupboards all the time, and I know they'd work better with no doors on them, buuuttt I just can't bring myself to do it! Stuff away because it's neater? Door-less because of the function? Stuff away? Door-less? And where would we store the doors? Ah, decisions. For the moment the doors are on, but now I've yakked about it I really want to take them off.
Whoop, here comes the rain. Gooooood decision about taking the mats off the line.
Oh, there goes Cody - he's jogging across the yard...what's he doing? He's in the garden digging for something. What for? Don't know. The rain's coming harder now and he's just taken shelter with Andrew under the patio. There he is again - back to the garden - he's got a rock in his mouth!! That dog and rocks, I tell ya. Andrew will chuck it away when he finds it, hopefully, and give him a ball instead. Cody and rocks means he wants to play.
The rain's really coming down now. Great decision about bringing the mats in. I love it when I outwit the weather with my washing. Five minutes more and I would've been outwitted.
Okay, enough chatter...what's been going on?
You know how yesterday I talked about giving my brain a holiday? And only thinking about stuff when writing only? Time on/Time off? Yeah, that.
Well, that, didn't happen yesterday.
I published at about 2 pm and went for a walk with the dog. My mind wasn't swirling or anything, but my emotions were heightened for sure. I couldn't breathe fully - I had a lump in my chest - I was unsettled.
The walk didn't help. Cody was pulling and sniffing and being annoying, too. On the way home I decided to go by the duck pond for some peace and quiet from the busier streets. Cody and ducks means, "I want to chase them!" but he had to observe from a distance as he always does.
I sat for a while and watched the ducks swimming. I love how they duck for food and bob in the water with their bottoms in the air. It's pretty funny, particularly when they're trying to get something just out of reach under the water. Their little legs go a million miles an hour above the water to get more downward movement! They make me smile, so does watching them come in for landing. Booosh....like a sea plane landing on the water.
Anyway, I sat and watched the ducks for a few minutes and a few tears seeped out. I felt more relaxed physically, but not emotionally. I hate when I don't know what's going on emotionally.
I put it down to the fact that it's normal to just be emotional about things when you're writing about emotional things. I haven't cried much at the computer while typing - it's here that I feel the safest, and the most 'on keel', if that makes sense. On keel = being on an even keel.
After writing on other days I've felt fine, tired, a bit anxious sometimes, but not like yesterday. Yesterday was different and it wasn't great. It took me hours to settle down and feel somewhat normal again.
Today, on the other hand, I've felt really calm and peaceful all day. I started writing at 12:30, the lateness of which usually makes me feel anxious, but today it didn't. I was happy and peaceful all morning knowing I'd get to the computer and it'd be fine.
Anyway, unusually upset and emotional yesterday. Unusually calm and peaceful today. Maybe something just left me and it's gone for good. That's my hope.
Today though, what's today about?
I might start with a verse - or some more of those things on my doors in here.
Where there is unity, there is anointing.
God has commanded the blessing where there is unity!
I used to think those were referring to unity between Andrew and I. I still think that, but now I think it's between God and I, and also, Andrew, God and I.
Expect God to bring good out of things, as He has promised in His Word.
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
There is an ocean full of life available to us, and the instrument we are given to draw it forth is diligent study of and meditation on the Word of God.
(that one was Joyce Meyer, I'm pretty sure of that)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
And below is what I've typed out underneath the above scripture - they're not my words. I'm not sure who said them, but I'm grateful for their understanding of the scripture.
In other words, things work for the good of those who don't fight life's ups and downs, but roll with them, allowing God's purpose to be bigger than all their hopes and expectations combined. When God's purpose is the main thing in your life, all things will work to the good. Every time.
Wow, that's a big chunk of meat to chew on, is it not?
I mean, think of things that people go through. Roll with life's ups and downs...my goodness, easier said than done.
I know a thing or two about fighting. That is, not rolling with the ups and downs, but fighting them.
Fighting situations you wish were different. Feeling powerless to make any changes. Being frustrated by the way things are. Fighting with myself. FIGHTING with my reality because I just
Ever been there? Finding yourself fighting (what you know is) a losing battle and yet finding you're still fighting it because you
That's what I was talking about yesterday, or the day before. Changing circumstances and changing us.
Fighting my circumstances didn't change anything. And I fought for a long time.
I guess I fought because I was mad.
I didn't want it to be.
I wanted it to be different.
And if I didn't fight, who would?
To give up would be giving in. Accepting defeat. And still being in the same situation, so wasn't it better to fight?
I mean, I didn't do all this consciously, but I can see it now - years of fighting things I couldn't change.
And you know what I've learned over the years?
Fighting my reality changes nothing.
Acknowledging my reality changes something, though. It changes the momentum, I guess. It puts things in check to be assessed and reassessed, so changes can be made.
No, you might not be able to change your reality, but you can change you.
And changing you will change how you see your reality.
And your reality might even change, you never know!
Joyce Meyer talked once about responsibility, or more specifically, taking responsibility.
This is another big chunk of meat to chew on.
In order to get over your problems, you have to take responsibility for them...
...even if they're not your fault.
Regardless of what's happened to you, you have to take responsibility for it. Doesn't seem fair, does it?
It's not fair, but it's right. It's God's way. He has His ways for a myriad of different reasons and they're all good.
Beware though (and this is why we don't do it) - taking responsibility for pain caused to you (because of something direct, indirect, intentional, not-intentional) will hurt.
The original pain hurts and taking responsibility for it hurts. Maybe that's what some of my pain was yesterday. I don't know...not sure. It really hurt though, and made me feel upset and anxious, but in the midst of it all I knew God knew how I felt and was with me.
Back to Joyce. She was sexually abused by her father for many years (she mentions this in her preaching) which, as you can imagine, led to many problems for her over the years. She has a God-given aggressive personality. When someone with an aggressive personality gets abused and mistreated, well, it's not a good thing. She was a mess.
She spent many, many years working with the Lord on it all and in the end they worked it out. Her aggressive personality is now working for her as God intended in the first place.
I put 'worked it out' in italics because when we use the term 'work it out', well, it usually involves conflict, debate, presenting sides, telling how it is and coming to a conclusion.
Summary - not easy.
In physiotherapy terms it means getting pummelled, so the kinks are worked out. The part that's hurting gets hammered! Seems counter-productive, doesn't it??? Seems that way, but it's not. It's working out the bad bits, so the good bits can function properly again.
Summary - not easy and it hurts.
Extra summary - it's the same emotionally. Not easy and it hurts. The bad attitudes, the bad feelings, the pain, the torment - they're all things God wants to put His finger on, so they can be worked out, so things can function properly again.
In order to have that happen we have to take responsibility.
Joyce had to take responsibility.
It's key, that. Key.
All pain needs to be paid for by someone along the way.
The perpetrator should pay, but often doesn't. And you know, too, that even when the perpetrator does take pay and take responsibility, we still often have to do some work on ourselves anyway to sort it out. Again, taking responsibility.
So, basically....in order to move forward, it's up to us to put our 'let's get honest here' glasses on and check a few things out.
To see our lives for what they really are...
...see ourselves for who we really are...
...see ourselves for how we really act...
With God we can do that. He convicts; He doesn't condemn.
The big clincher for Joyce was this - and it's something I've never forgotten...
God said to her,
"Yes, you are the way you are because you were abused, but don't let it be your excuse to stay that way."
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
I mean, wow, you know?
What could that sentence be for me?
Yes, you are the way you are because you can't have children, but don't let it be your excuse to stay that way.
What could that sentence be for you?
It's a biggie, isn't it?
You're like, what? But, but, but...they hurt me, it's not fair, it's not my fault (plus one hundred other things) and I've got to take responsibility for it??!!! Well...that's just ridiculous!
It might sound ridiculous, but it's not.
It's hard, but it's not ridiculous.
It's actually taking responsibility for yourself.
And taking responsibility for yourself issssssssssss...and let's refer to the What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do list from May 5...
Going to a new level of responsibility!
That's why we take responsibility, so we can go to a new level of responsibility in God!
You know the 'not fighting life's ups and downs' thing? That's taking responsibility.
And the part of the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 where God says, "I know the plans I have for you"? He has plans and those plans probably have to be built on us taking responsibility! Does that make sense?
I'm just making all this up as I go along, but it's making sense to me!!
God can't make those plans come to pass until we take responsibility!! Us taking responsibility and dealing with our issues are the foundation for God's plans for us!!!!!!
His part, your part, His part, my part.
He has plans, but I have a part to play.
He had plans for Joyce, but she had a part to play. Where would she be now if she didn't take responsibility for who she was, and how she was, because of her abuse? Did her father take responsibility? No. I think he apologised very late in life, but when she needed him to? No.
She had to.
My goodness, that would've been hard. And God told her to take care of her parents, too. She bought them a house and a car and looked after them when they were older. I think her dad is gone now, but he got saved and baptised before he died - again, more plans.
God's a planner like me. Or I'm a planner like God :o) I like it, I like it a lot.
My part right now though is, to let go of those plans - not just my future ones, but my yearly ones, monthly ones and weekly ones, too, and just focus on my daily ones.
A daily plan only? When on earth does a teacher have a daily plan only?? Like, never! They have a planning structure to support their daily plans, otherwise they'd be flying in the wind by the seat of their pants, and probably flying right down to Centrelink to get another job!
They start with a yearly overview and then break it down into semesters (two a year), terms (four a year), weeks (40 a year) and days (200 a year). Yearly overviews, term outlines, unit plans, weekly plans, daily plans, lesson plans - teaching's all about plans!! And I wrote a billion of them at Uni and in my first years of teaching. Gosh, I knew how to plan.
Of course, that's not what teaching's all about though - the plans are just the foundation for the projected learning. They're the base for the actual talking bit where the kids hopefully learn something. Hello, knowledge transferred!
The plans are about the actual talking bit! They're so the talking bit can happen!!
Think about that in relation to you and God and your situation.
He has to have plans for you - things that need to happen, things you need to go through, things you have no idea about, things you can't make sense of, things you can't connect together because they make no sense, things that make you crazy because it's just so hot in this here classroom and why can't we have the air conditioning on???
All those things are in His plans for you, so when He does do the talking bit it all makes sense to you!!!!!!!! Not Him, YOOOOUUUUUU!!!! He knows it all, it all makes sense to Him; He has to make it make sense to you!!
Do you reckon?? Does that make sense? :o)
Oh, I don't know! I know I can feeeelllll what I'm trying to say, I just don't know if I'm saying it!!!!
When planning, I would build foundations for the kids. There were certain concepts I wanted them to get, but they needed a proper foundation first. You know, learning's all about building concepts on concepts, and ideas on ideas. I couldn't expect the kids to know long division when they didn't even know how to subtract. I mean, dividing is not subtracting (well, it could be, but let's not go there), but let's start with something simple first, why don't we?
A B C D E F G....you know, let's build the foundation.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7....get me?
You've gotta have the right foundation to get the knowledge you need to get.
And you've gotta get the knowledge in order, so you can build the right foundation.
And then when you've got the right foundation, you can get more knowledge you need to get.
And so it goes. My goodness, it's all a thing...but we can only take in and learn what we can and God's the one who knows what you need to know, and what you don't, and when and why and everything.
He told me a while ago that I was on a 'needs to know' basis with Him.
If ya need to know, I'll tell ya. If ya don't, I won't.
It was kinda like that.
He also told me to 'be the student'.
As a teacher, I was in the know. I knew what we were doing and when and why and how and all that. Of course the kids were full of questions about all of that all the time and I kept them on a 'needs to know' basis. I told them what they needed to know, when they needed to know it, and that's the way it was.
Now I'm the student and I'm on a 'needs to know' basis with God. I'm okay with it. He's the best teacher there is, so He won't get it wrong like I did a lot of the time.
Anyway....all the planning and teaching and talking and waiting and being on a 'needs to know' basis with Him, has been all about creating the right foundation in me, so I can handle what God has in store for me.
All the planning and teaching and talking and waiting and being on a 'needs to know' basis with Him might be all about creating the right foundation in YOU, so YOU can handle what He has in store for YOU.
I just realised too, that the planning stages in anything always seem to take forever. And always forty times longer than you think!
How many times have you cooked a meal that's taken hours and it's been wolfed down in 10 minutes?
"Did you even taste that??"
Ah yes, been there. I shouldn't be surprised when it's the same emotionally. Ah.....big sigh. BUT good things have good plans. Good buildings have good plans. Good meals have good recipes. I could go on there, but I've got a feeling I'll type myself into a hole, so I'll just leave it, ha ha....
Anyway, back to plans. They're what God's all about. Plans AND applying them! He just needs us in the application part. Kinda like me needing the kids in the application part of my teaching plans. No point talking to myself in there with no kids!
There you go, God's the same. He doesn't need us in the planning part - He's got that sorted. He needs us in the application part; to do our bit, get what He's saying and then apply it in our own lives.
Ah, He talks me to me in languages I understand. Teachery language and creative language. Makes me breathe out deeply, that does.
I'm all about plans...and making them happen! Gotta take responsibility first (done that) and work some stuff out (doing that).
It's all good. It's all God.
It's all over!
Over for today, that is.
See you tomorrow - I have no plans!
(But I have hope - and as Joyce says - you need hope. Hope is the happy anticipation that something good is going to happen in your life. It's expecting something good. Yay.)