Friday, January 18, 2013

Loaded Camel

The last couple of weeks, especially, I have been battling a huge array of feelings.  My thoughts have been jumping to conclusions that have some basis in reality, but nothing confirmed.  
I am afraid.
I am afraid of being miserable.
I'm afraid of failing.
These are things I am readily able to admit, but I wonder how much of this fear is clouding and affecting my judgements.  Fortunately, I have a brother-in-law who is wise and understanding, and extremely diplomatic, who has helped me to see what I could be doing to my self-ascribed former clear mindedness.  These are his words:
I'm loading the camel.

You've likely heard the phrase, "The straw that broke the camels back."  In allowing my mind to fill with negative thoughts (beyond the realistic questions), I have begun to load the camel.  In making assumptions that have resulted in frustrations, having unrealistic expectations that inevitably result in disappointments, I have loaded the camel.  In not communicating in a way that asks for the information that I desired that brings me a feeling of distrust due to a lack of communication, I have loaded the camel.  I am just setting myself up for that proverbial last straw.

So, am I really open to what God may want for me?  I want to be, but it is extremely difficult to allow myself to see what God wants over my load.  Especially if I have it so densely packed.

I am preparing to go on a journey that desperately needs a lighter load.  I have been praying that God will help me unload the camel, give Him the weight, and trust His leading.  An amazing oasis might be just over the hill.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wicked Weeds

They are everywhere.  Really, I've seen them.  
I cannot believe how beautiful they can be, especially if they are not in my flower beds.  
 I have to admit, there were several amazing specimens in my lawn back in Alaska.  Especially once I started to fertilize said lawn.  They are really quite a beautiful and rugged flower.
So rugged, in fact, that it is very difficult to get rid of them.  One thing that does help to eliminate them, other than meticulously hand picking each and every one with the entire root system, is to first feed them.  This may sound counterintuitive, but it serves a purpose.  When plants are at their best, they are able to store food all the way through their system.  This is when it is optimum to apply the desired product of destruction.  It's almost like you get in good with the dandelion, and BAM!  Take 'em out.  It's a bit harsh but effective.

I was reading in Psalm 92 today.  Verse 7 states:
"That when the wicked
sprouted up like grass
And all who did iniquity
It was only that they might
be destroyed

Sometimes I wonder if God does the same thing with evil as I do with dandelions in the lawn.  God was the original landscape designer, and I know He hates the weeds that come into His creation, slowly sucking the nutrients and moisture away from what He has sown.  Could it be that when we see all the evil in this world, and the seeming lack of consequences, that it's just a matter of time before the BAM!?  It gives me a little bit of solace knowing that even though the wicked weeds are showing themselves off to be something of beauty, their seemingly uninhibited splendor will be destroyed.  I can rest in this.  I can know that the evil that enslaves, kills, mutilates, and inflicts any other number of pains, will be destroyed.  Forevermore.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Adventures!

I'm going to honest.  (like I'm not usually!)  I getting more and more apprehensive about moving to Africa.  

Probably not a huge surprise to anyone who has actually done anything new.  That pretty much includes everyone.  Basically, the idea has been very romantic and the closer it comes, the more realistic I am becoming.  
Romantic (above) vs Realistic (below)

 Romantic vs. Realistic

 Romantic vs. Realistic

It's going to be hard.  Very hard.  I'm not exactly sure the extent of all the different ways it will be hard, but I can pretty confidently guess that every aspect of my life will change.  

I have been in a process of transferring my trust from people to God.  One might think that she has done this once she gave her life to Him, but in my world that doesn't just happen.  It is clearly an ongoing process, not a box to check.  I am realizing how little I actually trust God to direct my life.  I continue to see all the places where I place my trust on myself, my husband, or others.  I have been disappointed.  As long as I trust people to guide me, I will be disappointed.  I may not feel let down at first, but it will happen.  Every time.  With God, I may feel let down at first as I struggle to discover His purposes, but I will never be disappointed in the end.  Ever.  

As this new year dawns, it brings new adventures and experiences that I am anxious about, but also excited.  I can only imagine where God will take me, how He will grow me, and what kind of person I will become through this year.  From Alaska to Africa - who'd have ever guessed?!

(Thanks to D. H. (my boss) for the use of these pictures of his trip to Ghana!)