September 2, 2010

Calling it Quits

It has been a really long day. I worked from 11:15 am until 7:45 p.m. and I am beat (do I say that enough?) Plus my feet are aching, my legs are throbbing, and my back -- well -- my back is about done in. I simply cannot stand or walk at all. I am sitting here blogging, drinking the rest of an ice-cold diet pepsi, and eating my left over Cheetos (from lunch on Wednesday). I am feeling pretty OK, thanks to taking two Aleve's with my dinner. So far so good. I am thinking some ice on my heels might make them stop throbbing, so I may limp into the kitchen to find some ice packs to use. Other than that, I am content with my work and my life.

Today, I gave myself a final talking to about the future, and I agreed with the Lord that His way is best for me. I have been working so hard, so diligently, and so consistently -- yet, I have seen very little change (physical) come to pass. I have witnessed great spiritual rebirth, wonderful restoration, and superior healing in my heart and mind. I have been a participant in God's miraculous plan as He has orchestrated change in every area of my life.

As I ponder this truth, one thing becomes more and more clear -- my life is no longer my own -- and nothing that I do anymore matters. I work unto the Lord, I sing unto the Lord, I play the cello unto the Lord, I clean my home unto the Lord. Everything I do is now being done for His Name and His Glory. I no longer think of myself or my needs or my wants first -- instead, I think of what He wants for me or what He needs me to do today. I cannot explain how I changed from a person securely focused on herself to a person who is now all about the Lord and the Lord's will. God did this to me, for me, and it is all of His hand.

This brings me to the title of this post: calling it quits. What exactly am I quitting? I wish it were Macy's (don't get me wrong, I am thankful for this work -- I just cannot stand on my feet and be fit for any good thing. It is physically impossible for me to continue to work here; yet, until the Lord tells me otherwise, I will continue to go in for my scheduled shifts.) So no, it is not Macy's. Perhaps it is all the rest, all that is left to me and marked as "unknown?" Perhaps this it? Perhaps it is everything still yet to be decided and determined -- all that unknown that I tend to worry and fret over? No, I don't think so. I think I let that go a while ago -- at the least -- I think so. Perhaps it is the details of my life, the new changes that are coming, as well as the timing on the job the Lord has for me? Is this it? No, again. Drats -- Lord, what is it? What do you want me to quit now?

Well, that is the big question. I simply do not know, but it seems that there is something I must do, and the Lord knows it. He just hasn't shared it with me yet. Perhaps He will tomorrow?

Dear Lord,

I am waiting at the ready to do the work you have prepared for me to do. Tell me know what it is you want me to quit -- is it something I do (like a habit)? Or is it some work I perform (such as Macy's or volunteering or home schooling)? I will do as you say -- for your Name and your Glory -- always for your Name, and always for your Glory. May you be praised forever more. In Jesus' Name I ask this now -- Amen.

Update: Today

I woke up this morning a bit cranky. I didn't sleep well, my feet hurt most of the night, and my boys were not polite to me (jumping on me around 3:00-3:00 a.m.). I did get up to feed them around 6 a.m., and then tried to settled back down to sleep in. However, I ended up drifting in and out, in between race tracks and cat chases, and then finally just giving in at 8:00.

I am not feeling well today (monthly misery), and I am so thankful that I have the day off. This will be one of the main issues for me when I am working full-time. I have always had very difficult monthly cycles -- lots of pain, backaches, headaches, general PMS misery, and then heavy bleeding. I much prefer to stay at home on those days. Sigh! And, as I get older, my cycles get longer (peri-menopause), and well, I am generally less together each month. Oh well...God knows me, and I am sure He has some accomodation for my ills.

I have been wracking my brain trying to decide what it is that I am quitting. I wrote about this yesterday, on a prompt by the Holy Spirit. All night long I asked the Lord: "Lord, what am I quitting?" No answer. No answer until just now, that is. I was coming out into the kitchen, and I said: "Lord, I have just had it with this entire mess. I quit." And there it was, like "Bingo" being called out during a game. I said it. I said, "I quit." Weird, huh?

As I think about what I meant when I said that, this is the one thing that really stands out for me. I have been trying to organize, arranged, and orchestrate my life -- since my husband decided he didn't want to remain married. I have sought the Lord, trusted in His provision, followed His leading, etc., but generally, I have tried to sort it all out, to make it fit straight. You know, I tried to make a picture out of a bunch of puzzle pieces. I blogged about this several months ago, and back then noticed that God had only given me certain pieces to work with at this time in my life. I know that He has a picture in mind, but He has not given me all the pieces to put together. He has only given me one section at this time. This means that I am to work on this section only. You know how you approach putting a puzzle together -- you might do the frame first or work on one color. You have a strategy and that is what you concentrate on until you get it finished. Then, and only then, do you move to another section of the puzzle. If you try and work the entire piece, it becomes overwhelming to you, and often you give up and quit.

Well, that is what I have done. I quit working on the pieces God gave me, and was instead attempting to put together the other part (the unknown). That unknown is not in my perview yet, so instead of just focusing on what I had, I allowed myself to become so utterly frustrated with the bigger picture, that I finally threw in the towel and just quit. Now the Lord doesn't want me to quit anything, that is for certain; so what do I do about my quitting? I stop working on that which is unknown, and instead go back and start focusing on that which is known. I don't give up on what has been already given to me, I just put aside those other pieces that don't fit for a later day.

God knows me so well, and He knows how easily I am frustrated by "more". I am struggling right now to come to terms with two divergent paths, my own and my son's. You see, the choices I make from this point on will impact both our lives. In my case, it is just a matter of career choice, income potential, housing costs, etc. This is the stuff I live with, and have lived with for 26 years. But, in his case; any changes I make can impact him greatly. He is almost 17, a senior in high school, and planning on a specific career in college -- well, two really: music technology and/or music ministry. He is young, and somewhat unfocused right now. The issue is this, our local area will support certain types of music degrees; but there are other degrees out there available to him SHOULD we relocate out of state. Therefore, if we go out of state, we must consider a number of new challenges, among these scholarship, residency, tuition, etc. Home schooling can be a benefit or a hindrance -- just depending on the school.

I have literally attempted to plan each way, consider each path, do all the "due diligence" to make sure it is a good thing -- and then in the end, I have had to set it aside in favor of simply staying put, staying right where I am now. Somehow, I feel that this is right; yet, somehow I feel that I am not doing what God has called me to do. How can I do both? How can I go where He is sending me; and, stay where I am right now? It just doesn't make any sense, and I am confused.

So, I asked the Lord to help me understand this conundrum. I asked the Lord to help me clarify my thinking. I am confused, and I don't understand why it is not as simple and straightforward as He makes it out to be. Yes, I remember: "Things are not always as they seem with God." Yes, I know -- and that is the part I am struggling with right now. What seems illogical and not right, may very well turn out OK -- in His time. My mind says, "No, this is not how it will be." My mind believes that with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37) and by that God always does what is perfectly best -- no "not quite rights are allowed." Yet, my mind remembers that God chooses the base things of this world to shame the wise; and that often, He chooses the lowly to elevate to high levels -- all for His own Glory. No man knows the mind of God, no man knows what He is up to today.

My unknowns sum up this way:
  • I have received a call from Apple Scottsdale Quarter to interview for a possible job. I thought it might have been from an HR Recruiter, but found out today it is a local person. I am pleased, but this doesn't get me to IL -- it would only be for jobs at this store (which is near me, and that would be a good thing).
  • My son just came home from church last evening telling me two things: he is now singing as tenor in the choir; AND, he has been invited to play keyboards with the 10:30 worship band. HUGE NEWS FLASH -- no teenager is allowed to play with the worship band; and singing in the adult choir is a direct answer to his prayer for singing practice/lessons (which I have heard him ask for nearly one year).
  • My son was set on studying music technology at an out of state school (IL); but now, may indeed, choose to go to our local Christian college (which 3 of the new choir members are students -- how does that work into this?) I am happy for this, but it is another item making it difficult for us to go to IL anytime soon.

That is my situation for today. I am sitting here at my computer, thinking that I am stuck in Phoenix, and that I am not going to go where I clearly think the Lord is sending me to go. I am pleased with these pieces of the puzzle; but they don't fit into the big picture. Perhaps this is the Lord's way of saying to me: "Concentrate on the section you have right now. See how they fit into it, and stop worrying about the rest of the "unknown" part."

Yes, Lord, I will do this. I will focus on what is here in my hand, and let you orchestrate the rest. In your Name, I confess that I have been very concerned about the big picture. I will now look at what you have already given to me, and let the rest be. You are the one with the big picture put together, so I will let this be. May you be glorified and praised today. You are SO GOOD TO ME.

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