New School, New Class…and Old Experiences

Well, I started back to school today at a new school and a new class, which is about the essentials needed for ministry.

The essentials include hearing your call and discovering your gifts, values, past experiences while seeking God’s purpose and vision for your life.  Then, we will move onto learning how to perform weddings, funerals, worship services, and other duties of a minister along with administrative stuff and issues within a ministry.  Sounds like an exciting class and I can’t wait to learn more about the essentials of ministry.  After all, I do want to eventually marry people, perform weddings, and other events.

Yet, what has been my most exciting part of this is learning about my past experiences – both the good and the pad.  Using a tool on , I created a timeline of my life from the moment of birth to present time.  The timeline has included good people who have encouraged me like friends, family, colleagues, and even mentors.  Even the bad people are listed like the neighbor who took advantage of me or the ex husband who left me wounded and scarred.  There are the good stuff about my life like being actively involved with school, church, work, and friends while also listing bad stuff like divorce, losing my son, and even abuse.  Yet, as I did this, I wondered, what did I learn from this timeline?

Well, I learned that I can endure quite a bit and that God has given me the strength to get through the rough patches of life.  The good stuff shows that I’ve had supported people along the way like my husband, my in-laws, great friends and church people, and even pets that have cheered me along.  Above all, I have had God there with me as I endured the bad and celebrated the good.  How did this happen?  Through a desire to know and praise Him as He gives me the strength to endure.

After all, Colossians 1:9-14 (NIV) reads:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,  so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

In conclusion, what does your past experiences tell you about you?  What have you endured and do you see a theme throughout your life’s journeys?

We’re still alive…in the country

Well, we made it to Medical Lake and we’ve had a few ups and downs over the last several days…

First, was a week ago when we arrived at our apartment and discovered we lost a few things along the way including an heirloom punchbowl.  Oh well!  Everyone is safe and well.

Second, came the unloading of furniture and trying to fit everything in.  A few cross words as I wanted things a certain way while trying to be grateful for the help from parents and family friends.  We were truly blessed when our fridge and cupboards with a bountiful of goodies while our parents and siblings blessed us with loading and unloading of belonging.

Third, we almost lost the kitty.  She was traumatized already from the move (and being locked in a crate for 3 days) and then I made the mistake of sticking her in the closet – out of the way from the movers.  Some instinct told me to go check on her and I found her barely moving behind a stack of boxes.  She was not getting enough oxygen so we had to quickly move her to another spot in the apartment and soon she was back to her perky self.  Then, for the next several days, she was awake all night wanting attention after sleeping under my bed all day.  Fortunately, she is getting back to her old routine of staying up part of the day and playing (as well as eating).  Yeah!  The cat survived!

This part was just the first day!  The last several days, have been spent organizing things, adjusting to life as sole caregiver to my husband, and waiting for service and deliveries.  Sigh!  Good old fashion small town cable companies are a lot better than national internet and dish providers who do not promise as delivered!  Fortunately, small town cable company was able to have internet (and cable) up and running within 2 hours…

The final blow came as I prepared to update my blogs and focus on schoolwork…I received a phone call about my son and yet I am too far away too help with the need.  When I became prepared to drop all to tend to my son – including dropping a class – the rug was yanked out from under my feet and my wanting to help was dismissed.  All I can do is put my son (and my ex) in God’s hands and pray for the situation.

To ease the stress of the last several days, I went in search of my dad’s property in Eastern Washington less than 2 hours away from our new home.  He bought it when I was a little kid and we’ve barely been there since so I do not remember which wheat field is his.  It has snakes and other wildlife so I do need to be careful – at least we have cell phone service out there!  Once I discover which one is his, I hope to turn it into a place of contemplation along with other places I have yet to explore in the areas surrounding my new town.

Even with life’s ups and downs over the last few days, I have learned that waiting is usually the best method and I do need more patience since life around here is a bit slower than the big cities of western Washington.  Furthermore, though I have struggled in a relationship with my parents, we re-discovered each other and understand each other.  The relationship has improved and I realized how great my parents are.  This has been a good move as we discover what loving in the country is like…different, challenging (few mom and pop placed opened on sundays!) and relaxing as we get to know our neighbors, new town, and adjust to a different climate.

As I face this new adventure, I need to remember as stated in Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message):

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

What ups and downs have you faced in a new journey?  Please feel free to comment…

Stay tuned for more stories of life in the country including discovering that even the neighborhood cats will come when I call…