Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dreams Part 1: Sowing and Reaping

This is the field of wheat across from Claire Bear's high school where I went Monday to bring them her gifted portfolio.

Lately I've been thinking about how my slow progress of; "two steps forward one step back" really annoys me! Lord, why can't I take two steps forward and just skip the one step back!? Like my dieting. I love to tell people I lost 30 lbs in 2008 but I hate having to add, "but I gained 20 of it back"! Or how about keeping my house clean and orderly? I don't think I'm being a good steward of what God's blessed me with when my house is a mess. God is not the author of this confusion! When I get down on my knees and pray and see my dirty carpet and decide to vacuum when I'm done I think perhaps it's true, "Cleanliness IS next to godliness"! And of course there are other things also.

Why do I do this? Well, this condition is not unique to me. In Alcoholics' Anonymous when a previously "dry" alcoholic goes back to drinking it's called "falling off the wagon". In the Bible, especially the Old Testament when the Israelites turned away from the One True God back to worshiping idols it was called, "backsliding":

Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. Jeremiah 8:5

God says to us, “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.” Jeremiah 3:22

The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. Proverbs 14:14

I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts...Isaiah 65:2

Earlier this year I finished Joyce Meyer's book, "Change Your Words Change Your Life". It was long ago I read and have since reread Joyce's book, "The Battlefield of the Mind" because to change your words we must first change our thoughts. She also says this in her brand new book, "Making Good Habits- Breaking Bad Habits" . It's a "trickle down effect" that starts in the mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it like this:

Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.

I just saw this on Joyce Meyer's facebook page: Your thoughts become your words; your thoughts become your actions. Your thoughts become your life. 
And the photo below I saw on facebook:

Oswald Chambers asks, "What are you haunted by?" "My Utmost For His Highest" June 2nd

I've been haunted by my past, by my own negative thoughts and those of others.

I've been wondering which way to go. I wrote about this last August.

Which Way Do I Go? It Depends On Who Am I Trying to Please?

I was looking for a job. I wanted to substitute teach, but that didn't work out. Then I was going to maybe clean houses and I thought I had one house to start out with but that fell through. There were suggestions for a weekend job in Perry. But week ends are when your college kids come home. Also Bob doesn't want me to waste gas driving to Perry for minimum wage. Meanwhile, I have so much going on with my kids here at home when I thought about working, even part time I felt over whelmed. I'm writing my book, finally. I've finished the introduction and I'm in chapter 1 which is on faith. I'm also still doing my writing for teens and children correspondence course. Bob had been saying I should go back to school but when these furloughs come that will really cut his pay! So I thought I should wait to go back to school. God will lead me. What am I writing about? Oh yeah FAITH. I figured if God wants me to get a job, He'll give me success in finding one. What have I been writing about in my heart posts?

The King of Hearts
The King of Hearts Part 2: What Would You Ask For?   

Oh yeah OBEDIENCE. Even to Bob?! Lately Bob keeps saying, "Go back to school." I want to take nursing. I said this long ago after I graduated high school barely passing Chemistry because of my undiagnosed BiPolar which was similar to ADHD in the Spring when I was manic, not to mention in mental turmoil over my latest beau (the tall dark and handsome boy next door:). It did not help the Father- daughter relationship much when my dad said something to the effect that you should know Chemistry if you want to be a nurse and it would probably be too hard for me. Mom tried to "save" this by saying something like, "what he meant was, 'it'll be hard but you can do it'" or something like that- Thanks again Mom for trying to clean up Dad's messes but the damage was already done.

Sara Barielles sings,

"Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins..." ("Brave")

So for years I've struggled with this. Not really had time the past 27 years with raising five kids and all, to go back to school. God called me to writing. God uses the foolish to confound the wise. I don't have to go back to school. Certainly not just to show someone I can. Joyce Meyer didn't go to college. But what if God DOES want me to? I would LOVE to be an obstetric nurse- helping deliver babies would be so cool! But I didn't really like school. I wasn't very good at it. What is that rising up in me? The antithesis to faith: FEAR. Fear of failure, fear that I AM too stupid to be a nurse.

Right now I'm reading, "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. I feel as though Ann's a "kindred spirit" and I love this book! No, I am not the first woman to feel this way. "...all these mornings, I wake to the discontent of life in my skin. I wake to self hatred. To wrestle to get it all done, the relentless anxiety that I am failing. Always the failing.....I live tired. Afraid. Anxious. Weary. Years, I feel it in the veins, the pulsing of ruptured hopes. Would I ever be enough, find enough, do enough?" I read this paragraph to Bob and start to choke up, I can't even say it, read it the words Ann wrote that I feel! I had a disagreement with Bob about school, I thought it was that I don't want to be a nurse anymore- I want to write and Bob doesn't want me to. I went in my closet to pray. God was like, why don't you want to go to school, Susan? I want to write, God. You want me to write. Why are you mad at Bob, Susan? He doesn't want me to pursue my dream of writing. Remember when your dream was to be a nurse? Bob doesn't think you're too dumb to be a nurse. He supports your writing. Who did your website? I went to Bob and apologized. So many have inspired me. Hydi my sidekick in the Peach county soccer concession stand is in nursing school. Brooke's mom, Tracey is a nurse at the Medical Center where Sarah works and then there's Sarah- my own daughter inspires me.

Then, of course there's always Mom. Mom went back to school when she was 50 years old and got a degree in Sociology.

Back in the day- The wonderful 80s. The Electric Light Orchestra sang a song that went like this; "Hold on tight to your dreams...." Mom held on tight to her dreams of keeping my Dad, going back to school and especially the most important one; Seeing her children in heaven.

And God says to us, "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you;"  (Isaiah 51:1)

Yes, Mom is the rock from which I was hewn!

I turned my Mary Engelbreit calendar over to June and it had this quote:

You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream. C.S. Lewis

I have a little fortune from a cookie on my vanity it says: Keep true to the dreams of your youth.

Sometimes I have to distinguish between the voices in my head. Sometimes Satan speaks to me; "What a waste of time trying to help that person was! You really blew it with them. They'll never take to heart anything a hypocrite like you said to them!" Sometimes unknowingly we even speak the devil's words for him! Like my Dad, we discourage people from their God given calling, but we don't even realize we're doing it! Oh be careful little lips what you speak! Hawk Nelson sings a song called "Words"; "Let my words be life, let my words be truth, I don't want to say a word unless it brings the world back to You!" So someone said to me, "It's not up to you to reach that person." Who are you to say that? Are you God? We must be very careful about saying stuff like this! But God said to me, "You've sown a bunch of truth into that person, you've fed them, you've been real in front of them, you've shown them compassion..." Margaret Becker used to sing a song called, "Never for nothing"; "So light your candle in the darkness cause it's never for nothing"

When the devil tries to beat me down with his lies, I more than ever need to run to the Word and God always builds me Up. He never drags me down!

Wow! It's 2015 now and being a nurse? Not sure exactly where that dream stands. If I go back to school- it may be to be a Pastor. The dream of becoming a published author HAS BEEN FULFILLED. Check this out: The Seven Story Tree  

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.” John 4:34-38

So God says, "You've sown, Susan but someone else will reap it" And you know what? I'm OK with that!

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness....2 Corinthians 9:10

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9

Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

"You gave your life for mine, to have me by your side, I won't look back anymore, I am Yours." The Afters

They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing. Psalm 126:5

Finally, from another of Mom's favorite devotionals, "God Calling", June 4th:

Courage. That is in itself a sign of progress.

Patience, not only with others, but each of you, with herself

As you see the slow progress upward made by you, in spite of your longing and struggle, you will gain a divine patience with others whose imperfections trouble you.

So on and up. Forward. Patience - Perseverance - Struggle. Remember that I am beside you, your Captain and your Helper. So tender, so patient, so strong.

Today I will......

Praise Him because He is worthy!
Pray because He's listening
Enjoy the life that He's given
Even while you make a livin'
Exercise- Just do it!
Spend time with family,
You never know,
When it will be their time to go,
Write a poem,
Write a song,
It really doesn't take that long
Clean something- make it shine
Be thankful for all that's mine
Read the Bible,
Let God speak to you
Because you really haven't got a clue
Be excellent in all you do
Show love to all
Trust Him
He'll catch you when you fall

For a Season

My resume doesn't look too good down here
Just serving God for 29 years?
But up in Heaven it'll all be clear
Just a cup of cold water
To him who thirsts
You may end up being first
It doesn't matter all you've known
But into whose life you've sown
Compassion, prayer, wisdom
to friends who've come and gone
Some of them may have moved on.
But they'll never forget He was the reason
You showed them love
just for a season...

This poem was inspired by the classic devotional by Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost For His Highest" Oswald asks the piercing question, "What are you haunted by?" and states that we should be haunted by God.

The Haunting

I could just run away,
Try to live my way another day,
But what would be the use?
Wasted time, a wasted life,
But then again,
I could give it all to Him
And He transforms it,
If I turn to the left or to the right,
You're half way there
Or perhaps not quite
I hear Him all the time,
I open my eyes
And He lights up the sky,
In a song I see Him
In a tree He's there
What is this love?
He has for me?
Wherever I go
To a movie or a show,
There isn't a thought He doesn't know,
He is the great I Am,
And yet He is my friend?
It's too wonderful to comprehend,
He'll always be there 'til the end,
When we've been there ten thousand years,
His voice will echo in my ears,
Still His praises I will sing,
Always and forever He is my KING!

Here's the video of me saying that Poem.

For Part 2 On Dreams see, "The Glorious Story"
For Part 3 On Dreams see "Dream Home"
Here is the link to Ann Voskamp's blog: A Holy Experience

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